HOW SAFE YOUR INFORMATION ISN'T... 'Drive-By Hackers' on the San Diego NBC Affiliate KNSD 7/39 and news from ToorCon 2003, The Annual Security Hacker Conference in San Diego, California.

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The local NBC San Diego affiliate, KNSD - 11 pm Sunday night news broadcast - featured reporter Mr. Gene Cubbison 'war driving', or 'drive-by hacking', with Mr. George Spillman of ToorCon. ToorCon 2003 also just finished up in San Diego. Find out who was there and what they had to say about the future of information and computer security.

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'That was the best Con I've attended. We've been telling everyone about ToorCon.'

-BRUCE POTTER, The Shmoo Group, author of 'Mac OS X Security' and '802.11 Security'

San Diego(PRWEB)November 1 2003-- The local NBC San Diego affiliate, KNSD - 11 pm Sunday night news broadcast - featured reporter Mr. Gene Cubbison 'war driving', or 'drive-by hacking', with Mr. George Spillman of ToorCon. The boys found out how safe your information isn't. The segment also provided information to the viewers about ways to find out if their system is secure.

ToorCon 2003, this year held September 26-28 at the Manchester Hyatt in Downtown San Diego, is a rapidly growing information security convention. Now in it's fifth year, the objective of the conference is to raise public awareness about information and computer security and to demonstrate and teach methods to improve security. And people are listening. The number of participants doubles each year.

Seminars were held throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday with keynotes by Robert X. Cringely and Bruce Schneier as well as the unusual assortment of vendors at hand. One intriguing item of interest at the conference was something called Root Wars. Machines are set up, and there is a contest to see how quickly hackers can break into the systems. Divide of goes as far as to say that, 'The current generation of hacking contests have evolved to a point where we believe they would pose a challenge to even some of the top security corporations.' Erik Laykin, President of Online Security, Inc., ( and Vice-President of the FBI Infragard Program, defends the hackers by saying, 'The hacking community is multi-faceted and in some ways plays an important role in exposing product defects in the software and hardware industries. Both global and local business rely on the world wide networks which are increasingly vulnerable to external and internal attack. The ethical hacking community plays an important role in counter balancing the software industries ability to fully assure quality in their products. The speed at which malware viruses and worms propagate require a global response in real-time: organized crime and terrorist groups are learning to leverage these vulnerabilities in our critical infrastructure.'

But these only add to what was the jewel of the conference: the information exchanged between the participants. Paul Holman and Eric Johanson, of The Shmoo Group - with Hackerbot ( in tow and showing off - explained how wireless network popularity has made possible a whole new realm of proximity and mobility based attack and defense dynamics. The Wi-Fi Hackerbot demonstrated the possibilities by driving up to wireless network users and showing them their own passwords on its screen. Dan Kaminsky, of the Avaya Enterprise Security Practice, was there too. He's been working on network security analysis systems that scale to massive networks. Dan unveiled his newest work, allowing intrusion detection within SSL encrypted sessions, and discussed strategies for managing worm infections. David Meltzer of Intrusec has a benevolent view of the future of security, 'Benevolent worms will protect you from malicious ones in the future.' But using benevolent worms to attack malicious ones is still in its infancy.

Although the purpose of these security events is to learn how to protect one's information, not all the participants are optimistic about even the possibility of securing information as such. Jaya Baloo informed us that 'with the advent of Quantum Computing, all conventional cryptography will be rendered useless. Agencies like the NSA know this and are already using quantum cryptography.' Mr. Simple Nomad of NMRC, stated without reservation, 'Nothing is ever 100% secure, and unfortunately nothing is ever 100% private.' Bindview, ( and NMRC, ( specialize in networks, anonymity, and privacy. Bruce Potter of The Shmoo Group states, 'There are currently more Bluetooth radios in existence than 802.11 radios. However, security professionals are largely unaware of the protocol and security ramifications. This talk discusses Bluetooth device discovery, a.k.a. Bluetooth Wardriving.'

It was easy to find a wide variety of views at ToorCon. Not surprisingly, most of the hackers want government to leave their systems alone. Todd MacDernid of Syn Ack Labs cited the Fourth Amendment which states: 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.' Keith Hoerling and Mark Wilkerson of CDS Labs primary project, Project Luna, ensures completely secure, anonymous and untraceable communication over the Internet. CDS Labs ( does Research and Development of privacy tools. Keith said, 'our software allows for anonymous communication by deceiving the internet.' Mr. Hoerling feels, 'under current legislation such as The Patriot Act and its looming successor, our First Amendment Rights are being stripped away from us one piece of legislation at a time. Therefore, as Americans it's up to us to devise new and innovative means for communication.' It is not the benevolent hacker like Matt Granet of Cornea Labs who asked the obvious question, 'I wonder if the hotel staff is even slightly worried that they have 500 of the world's best hackers on premises?', but it's the malevolent hackers that the government, corporations, and individuals are worried about.

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To schedule an interview with any of the speakers who were at ToorCon or the Men of ToorCon, please contact Holly White & Associates at 760.630.4585 or by email at


Mr. Gene Cubbison did a little War Driving with One of the Men of ToorCon 2003, George Spillman. They found out how safe your information isn't.
Info about Securing Your Wireless System

Annual Hacker and Security Conference held in San Diego, CA


ToorCon is a comprehensive, three-day information security extravaganza, featuring lectures from some of the top experts in the field and hands-on demonstrations of the newest approaches to information security and security management.

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