Black Hat/DefCon: Welcome to the funhouse

Security conferences gearing up to poke holes in today's network technologies, here's a sneak peek...

Google Gadgets, those small Web applications that allow users to customize Web pages, will be in for the Black Hat treatment, too.

"The current architecture in the security model around Google Gadgets is highly insecure," says Tom Stracener, senior security analyst at Cenzic. The Web application security assessment provider says it will prove how it's possible for Google Gadgets to take control over each another and steal information from each other.

Still, Black Hat isn't all about deconstructing security. Some experts will show how to take preventative measures to shore up perceived vulnerabilities -- such as the "cold boot" encryption hack.

When Princeton University researchers earlier this year pointed out how it's possible for an attacker to swipe cryptographic keys off a computer through the cold boot technique, it sparked a debate over the safety of stored encryption keys and how they could be grabbed in memory when a machine is being turned off, particularly if subjected to cold temperatures.

"Information can take minutes or even hours to fade out on a computer," says BitArmor CEO Patrick McGregor. "There can be small pieces of information floating around." The Princeton University research generated a lot of concern that "full-disk encryption was useless," McGregor says.

But while the cold boot attack method is not particularly difficult to accomplish -- "you could plug a USB drive into a laptop" to carry it out, says McGregor -- the situation isn't as dire as some think. BitArmor claims to have a few basic defenses, including leveraging temperature sensors in Dell and HP computers, and a way to design a "secure enclave to protect full-disk encryption keys."

BitArmor says it is using these techniques effectively in its own products today and will share what they are at Black Hat.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?