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DEF CON 29 Takeaways (and missing out on a CVE)

by Jamey 0 Comments
DEF CON 29 Takeaways (and missing out on a CVE)

I started attending DEF CON in Las Vegas a few years ago in 2018, so I guess I could be considered a newb in the eyes of The Con, but because I work in the field of cybersecurity, my work would reimburse all expenses, so it was a sweet deal. I instantly fell in love with everything there, and I met some new friends, who I would later discover to be brothers. I was inducted into The Illuminati Party at DEF CON 26, and upon entering the IP Suite the next year at DEF CON 27, when I was met by the big booming voice of, “Welcome Home,” it truly did feel like home.

Last year, because of the pandemic, DEF CON was actually cancelled, and instead we had the first ever DEF CON Safe Mode, which took place entirely online. I missed being around all my hacker friends in person, but it was still a great year. This year, DEF CON 29 was a hybrid of both on-prem and online events, so it was a bit scattered. My workplace is still on a business travel lockdown, and I wasn’t going to make things difficult, so I opted to stay at home and enjoy the virtual side of things, and The Illuminati Party did the same — conducting all of their private talks and events on a private Discord server.

In this post, I will go over some of the high points (and bittersweet points) of DC29.

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This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada

by Jamey 0 Comments
This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada

There has absolutely never been a better time to start reading This Mortal Coil trilogy by Emily Suvada. With COVID-19 threatening the world as we speak, you can really get into this series and hopefully see, with brand new eyes, the very real potential threat that a pandemic such as the fictional Hydra virus could pose against the population of the world.

I have waited a while to review this book, because I didn’t really know where to start. I almost didn’t review it, because it could almost be seen simply as a continuation of This Cruel Design, however, I absolutely understand the need to make it a separate book, which is obvious when you read it.

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Ransomware. Ransomewhere? Inside malicious installers on MacOS, that’s where.

by Jamey 0 Comments
Ransomware. Ransomewhere? Inside malicious installers on MacOS, that’s where.

With the new wave of ransomware attacks we have seen at the beginning of this week, especially targeted toward Spain, we can see that mostly Windows attack vectors are mostly being utilized, in what appears to be a variant of the Bitpaymer family, related to the Dridex group of malware.

But what does the future hold for attacks such as these? When will we see the attack vector change drastically to target something that your company is most-likely unprepared for? We are seeing bad actors targeting low-hanging fruit on Windows, while the world of end-users are going mobile. If iOS development is part of your enterprise, then whether you like it or not, MacOS literally has to be an integral part of your infrastructure…because XCode. Is it possible that this is something that has gone unnoticed in the threat detection landscape, or is the perception of the threat level just perceived to be so low that we haven’t yet come up with a good way to protect against it?

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This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

by Jamey 1 Comment
This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

I promised a follow-up review to This Mortal Coil for the sequel, This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada. I also promised to follow up on the technological themes posed by this series, and how in the very near future, we could easily see this work of fiction merge more into an account of fictional events based on non-fiction technology. Personally, I think this series to be slightly ahead of its time [in a good way], as to show readers what kind of scenarios could play out in our future. For readers who are not tech-savvy, this would probably be a 3-star read. For me, knowing about the underlying technology and just how realistic this book is, boosts that up to a 5-star read. Emily Suvada knocked it out of the park with this one, which was equally as good (if not better) than This Mortal Coil.

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This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

by Jamey 1 Comment
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

There are not many books that really “get” me. I tend to get bored easily by fiction of any type, especially if it is not very realistic. Also, the virus trope got old in the early 2000s. That being said, this book really resonated with me in a strong way, and I officially got “got.”

This Mortal Coil is a book about DNA, the brain, hacking DNA, hacking the brain, and everything in between. Being a Certified Ethical Hacker and Information Security professional, this was right down my alley. It helped that the viruses in this book were both physical and virtual, which allowed me to ignore the played-out trope and focus on how realistic the scenarios in the book actually were, and could possibly foreshadow a very real potential future.

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