Archive for the ‘opinion’ Category

Underground Scene Dying?

July 5, 2007

A few days ago I was reading an article from the recently released Phrack 64 entitled A brief history of the Underground scene by Duvel. In his article, he suggests that the “Underground scene” is dying, and a large part of that is being contributed to by the commercialization of information security and hacking. He also suggests that what it means to be an elite hacker or security expert now is to come up with something novel like a new way to encode shellcode or deliver an exploit payload, and then go on the “conference circuit”:

Another incredible thing about these security conferences is what I would call the “conference circuit”. Nowadays, if you are a security expert, the trend is to give the same talk at different security conferences around the world. More than 50% of all security experts are doing this. They go in America at BlackHat, Defcon and CanSecWest, after they move in Europe and they finish in Asia or Australia. They can even do BlackHat America, BlackHat Europe and BlackHat Asia! Like Roger Federer or Tiger Woods, they try to do the Grand Slam! So you can find a conference given in 2007 which is more or less the same than one in 2005. Thus it seems we have now a new profession in our wonderful security world: “conferences runner” !

In a sense, I tend to agree with him about speakers and conferences. In fact, I maintain a Google Calendar of just such conferences, and believe me there are a lot of them, and many of them present the same material to different geographic regions. However, I don’t necessarily agree with him that the Underground scene is “dying”… (more…)