9 Basic Tips For Not Getting Pwned At Blackhat 2015

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9 Basic Tips For Not Getting Pwned At Blackhat 2015

Honestly, does anyone even say ‘pwned’ anymore? Am I exposing myself even more by putting it into the headline? What I want to provide are some basic tips for anyone heading to Blackhat/Defcon next week in Vegas. Now, most of the actual security folks there will already do this basic stuff and be onto more sophisticated levels of protection. But, it’s important for all of us in the industry (I’m looking at you sales and marketing) that might not have the same technical chops to get prepped before landing in Sin City.


Use a burner laptop

If possible, bring and use only a burner laptop instead of your everyday laptop. There are plenty of inexpensive Chromebooks out there for you.


Delete the non-WPA/WPA2 Wi-Fi SSIDs

Delete all of the non-WPA/WPA2 Wi-Fi SSIDs stored in your phones and laptops before going to the conference(s). This is the easiest way to pop boxes and steal your user credentials.

If you are on Mac OS: Go to settings > networks > wifi > advanced…then delete all of your stored networks if they are not labeled WPA/WPA2.

Image: Bryce Durbin


Don’t connect to Wi-Fi hotspots in Vegas

Unless you 10,000% trust it. Seriously, just don’t.

Defcon & Blackhat provide WPA enterprise networks, which are relatively safe.


Use your phone hotspot via USB cable.

This is your best practice to get online.


Don't use airline Wi-Fi

There will be people sniffing Wi-Fi on your flight to Vegas, so don’t use the airline’s Wi-Fi during your trip (this is especially true if you’re flying out of Austin, Boston, San Francisco…)


Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your phones

Unless you’re using them.


Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your computers

Unless you’re using them.


Turn on disk encryption

You should always have FileVault turned on with anyways. Again, for OS Xto settings > security & privacy > FireVault and enable it…NOW.


Turn on your firewalls

If you are on OS X, go to settings > security & privacy > firewall and enable it…again, NOW.

What other tips would you provide for anyone attending Blackhat/DEFCON? Join the conversation on Twitter, @ZiftenNews with #BlackhatPrep.

See you in Vegas.