Samy Kamkar: Next Gen Attacks

As we head into the last few months before the Bay Area Hackfest in November, this blog will feature a series of abstracts of the talk that our speakers, each of them a thoughtful and engaging expert in their field, will be sharing in November.

a photograph of Samy Kamkar
Samy Kamkar
Security Researcher

Since the dawn of the Internet and the Web, a broad series of hacking attack vectors have descended. Malicious hackers, researchers, and governments have demonstrated and unleashed these attacks onto computers, mobile devices, and nuclear power plants. While we continue to build sophisticated technology to defend against many of these attacks, a new field of exciting research is emerging and using physics, side channels, and low-cost tools to employ powerful attacks against modern technology. We’ll explore some of these fascinating and often secretive methods and how you can defend against them or potentially even use them.

These attacks have been studied, improved upon, exploited, and repetitively secured against. Even so, as time passes, the primary entry points have remained the same while the attacks have, at times, grown in their complexity. Some hacking sources have taken on corporate appearances, replete with logos and PR teams.

In this talk, we’ll go over this new research field, its vulnerable pathways, and the new attacks its practitioners have only recently been able to demonstrate — attacks we can assume nation-states could investigate or launch. We also will discuss how low-cost hardware is opening avenues to a new class of attack vectors that, to date, have no simple method for defending against.