11 Ways to Protect Yourself at Black Hat #BHUSA

August 1, 2016 Chris Nelson

Hacker Summer Camp, also known as Black Hat USA 2016, Defcon and BSidesLV, is here. Defcon and Black Hat are where you will find some of the world’s best hackers. The stories you have heard are all true, so prepare yourself for Sin City.

The best way to avoid getting hacked at the annual security conference is to not show up. But for those of you attending, there are some actions you can take before, during and after the show to protect your data. Here’s our 11-step program to keep you safe and secure at Black Hat #BHUSA.

  1. Use a MiFi or tether to your phone. Do not connect to public or open WiFi networks.
  2. Ensure you are patched up. All tech you bring should be patched up and avoid patching while in Vegas! DO NOT update software while there.
  3. Encryption is a must, VPNs etc., no plaintext anything. You are using MFA right?
  4. Backup all data on your devices before leaving for Vegas. There is a very good chance you will need to completely wipe and resintall everything when you get back. In fact, brining a "burner" phone and laptop that will be wiped after you return from Summer Camp is highly recommended.
  5. Make sure all devices (Laptop, phones, etc) have full disk encryption enabled. To avoid side channel attacks on your disk encryption, make sure your devices are powered off when not in use. Just putting in Sleep or Hibernate mode is not good enough.
  1. Update your security suite. Make sure you are running a firewall on all devices that support it.
  2. Turn you Bluetooth and WiFi off on all tech - Seriously Keep if off. Your phone, laptop, etc. broadcasts every network you have connected to and your device can be tricked into thinking you are connecting to your home or office
  3. Make sure you keep positive control (keep it with you) of all your devices when out and about.
  4. DO NOT accept any USB swag. If you find a USB device assume it is malicious and never plug it in to any of your computers or phones. This includes USB drives and all USB-powered devices (tiny missle launchers included!).
  5. If your electronics run our ot power, DO NOT use charging stations. Find a secure area and use your own chargers you brought with you.
  6. Best Advice: Don't bring anything, don't turn on anything!

Check out the Informational Flyer

About the Author

Chris Nelson

Chris has a passion for security, especially building security programs and teams in incredibly dynamic organizations. Chris joins Distil Networks as the Director of Security, where he will continue to expand on experimenting with Permaculture in the design and implementation of security programs and controls. At the end of the day, it is the Permaculture ethic “Care for People” that drives him most. Throughout his career in every type of organization from government to Fortune 500 he has seen how focusing on that foundation drives better results, unless you are looking for spectacular failure, then it’s ok to ignore that ethic.

More Content by Chris Nelson
Previous Article
Five Things I Learned About Company Culture at Distil’s Semi-Annual Conference
Five Things I Learned About Company Culture at Distil’s Semi-Annual Conference

At this year’s Distil semi-annual conference, intern Jennifer Glaeser learned that company culture is much ...

Next Article
Aberdeen Monte Carlo Model Quantifying the Risk of Bad Bots In Your Web Traffic
Aberdeen Monte Carlo Model Quantifying the Risk of Bad Bots In Your Web Traffic

Bad bots are controlling a significant portion of your web traffic. View this infographic to see just how m...