How to Survive #BlackHat ? Use Linux

black hat From the ‘Linux Desktop Domination‘ files:

There are only a few types of technology events where Linux desktops dominate — or should.

One of them is the Black Hat USA event which runs this week in Las Vegas. Every year ahead of the event, there are always a long list of articles out about what attendees need to do protect themselves.

My list isn’t quite as long. It starts with Linux.

No Linux is not Black Hat hacker proof, but it sure is a safer bet than Windoze. Among all the conferences i go to, Black Hat has among the highest usage of Linux desktops in my experience. Looking through the audience for any given session, i’m always happy to pick out GNOME, KDE and LXDE desktops.

To provide an additional layer of security, what I tend to do for Black Hat is start with a fresh Linux install or just use a USB based Linux approach.

Linux alone however won’t save me or anyone else from being dumb. By dumb, i mean sending passwords in the clear and not using SSL. Yes I know…this year there are at least two high-level sessions where security researcher will tell us all why SSL isn’t all that it should be, but hey it’s still better than clear text.

So to avoid being a sheep, it’s imperative to use something like HTTPS Everywhere, which is a firefox add-on that will help to make sure you use HTTPS/SSL.

Going a step further, if you’ve got a VPN connection, us it – it’ll help avoid the basic level of sniffers.

Then again, Black Hat has Aruba as its’ Wi-Fi vendor, Aruba is also Linux based and they do a fine job of keeping the network relatively clean. You don’t have to be afraid to use Wi-Fi at at Black Hat, I’ve done so for years, thanks in part to Linux.


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