Hackers, security researchers, IT administrators and computer crime experts have convened in Las Vegas this week for Black Hat 2010, the world's biggest hacking convention.
The event comprises three separate conferences devoted to computer security. The Black Hat briefings bring together industry professionals and researchers to discuss the major security issues of the day.
Running concurrently is the Bsides conference, which largely consists of rejected speakers from the briefings.
Finally the Defcon convention will see hackers and assorted computer specialists perfecting their techniques during hardcore workshops, with a big party at the end of the week.
The Black Hat briefings have drawn some major names this year. The opening keynote speaker, Jane Holl Lute, is the US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, a far cry from the first years of the Black Hat conference when 'spot the Fed' was a popular game among attendees.
The second keynote address comes from retired US general Michael Hayden, the longest serving head of the National Security Agency, and now a director of the CIA.
Hayden is rumoured to be one of the few government officials who has a permanent bodyguard whose job is to protect him, or see that he is not taken alive, because of the depth of his knowledge of government security issues.
Hot topics at the show will be a demonstration of ATM hacking that was due to be given last year but was stopped after a legal challenge.
Other expected highlights include a live demonstration of cracking a GSM phone conversation, more details on the growth of malware aimed at industrial systems, and a possible push for an entirely new way of protecting the internet's DNS architecture.
V3.co.uk will be reporting live from the show as it happens and interviewing senior delegates and participants over the next two days.
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