Hacking is usually part of the fun at Black Hat and delegates are warned that hackers are patrolling the conference’s public Wi-Fi network trying to steal data. That data is then posted on a public ‘Wall of Sheep’ at the venue, to embarrass security specialists who should know better.
However, as the organisers don’t expect journalists to be as adept at network security the press area is off limits to hacking and runs on a private network. Nevertheless the three journalists decided to do it anyway and try and get the login details for journalists from CNET and eWeek onto the Wall of Sheep.
However the trio, Dominique Jouniot, Mauro Israel and Marc Brami, were rebuffed by staff, asked to leave the conference and banned from attending this year’s DEFCON event as well.
The attack seems to have used a network-sniffing tool called Cain and while it was successful in obtaining details from an eWeek journalists CNET report that the data retrieved on them was incomplete.
The French journalists have reportedly said that it was all a joke and designed to make journalists more aware of their own security, an excuse commonly used in hacking attacks.
But a representative of the Electronic Frontier Foundation is apparently looking into the affair to see if any laws have been broken.
Journalists expelled from Black Hat for hacking competitors
By Iain Thomson on Aug 9, 2008 4:58PM