Black Hat and DEFCON are upon us again, and Core will have a significant presence. Who will make the biggest news? we should know in just a few days.

Who is Kaiser Soze? When it comes to Black Hat USA 2010/DEFCON 18, only time will tell who and what becomes legendary, and whatever else represents only myth – as personified by Kevin Spacey’s seminal criminal mind portrayed in the film bearing the same moniker as this blog  post.

But, either way, it’s that time of the year again. And everyone, or at least almost everyone who has a recognizable name in the vulnerability research community, is headed back out to Vegas for the Black Hat USA/DEFCON ethical hacking summit. By this time next week we’ll have heard about an array amazing new methods for breaking (into) a whole range of assorted technologies – from consumer digital cameras to corporate networking gear, and quite a bit in between. Some of the same experts we see out there every year will have reinforced their leadership status in the research space, while other newcomers will have surely added their faces to the crowd. A look at the Black Hat USA and DEFCON agendas surfaces a lot of the big names from years past… from Beaker to Barnaby Jack, to Jeremiah Grossman and Robert Hansen to Dan Kaminsky and Charlie Miller. In no particular order: Chris Paget, Moxie Marlinspike, Ivan Ristic, Mikko H., Adam Shostack, Gunter Ollmann, Dino DV, Cesar Cerrudo, and I could go on. And those well-known names represent only a fraction of the people who are speaking. As always, Core Security will also have a noticeable presence at the two shows, in the form of multiple research presentations and across many other elements of our business, as well as in the role of a sustaining sponsor. And not to be forgotten, longtime Core partner Chris Nickerson of “Tiger Team” fame and Lares Consulting will be hosting the “Security B-Sides” conference for its second straight year. Something tells me if you’re hanging out over there you’ll run into a good sized group of our research folks too.

In terms of scheduled speaking engagements, we’ll have Senior Security Consultants Leandro Meiners and Diego Sor with their talk “WPA Migration Mode: WEP Is Back to Haunt You” at Black Hat, which focuses on security issues in Cisco equipment; there will also be Senior Exploit Writers Oren Isacson and Alfredo Ortega with their highly interesting “Exploiting Digital Cameras” presentation going off later in the week over at DEFCON. Meanwhile, also at DEFCON, the CoreLabs CoreTex Competitions Team will be hosting its “Hiding Backdoors in Plain Sight” competition, which is also available online to those people unable to attend the conference (or unwilling to leave their hotel rooms to do so). Aside from its sizeable expo floor presence, Core is hosting meetings all week for its customers, business partners and many of the other gathered constituencies, from industry analysts to aspiring employees. There are also the many social events, including Core-sponsored parties – one in partnership with Qualys at Jet, and once again for our customers at Sushi Roku. Basically there’s enough activity and content packed into Vegas this week to span a few weeks (as duly noted by our longtime PR guy and Black Hat vet Tim Whitman of Schwartz), so the big question is, who will you choose to see, and what will you be forced to read about later? As any of us who have been going to black Hat for years can attest, some of this stuff will become myth, some of it legend, with most of it eventually fitting somewhere in between. Who is Kaiser Soze? Well, as stated, in terms of this year, that remains yet to be seen. The only way to find out will be to talk to the folks who were really there. Or, at least to read about it. Check back in this same space sometime next week.