Posted by Martijn Grooten on Oct 2, 2017
"We heard you like popping boxes, so we popped your box so we can watch while you watch"
Two years ago, Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade of Kaspersky Lab's GReAT team gave a well-received talk on how security researchers had become intelligence brokers. This can be seen in attack attribution, where we've moved from innocent comments such as "we believe this is the malware author's MySpace account" to statements with potentially geopolitical implications.
Someone who has witnessed this development up close is Juan Andrés' colleague and industry veteran Costin Raiu, who played a pivotal role in uncovering Stuxnet, and who has since analysed many of the most advanced nation-state campaigns. Costin delivered the VB2015 closing keynote address, in which Juan Andrés made a cameo appearance; you'll find the video of this presentation below.
At VB2017 in Madrid, both researchers will be back to present a paper on fourth-party collection and its implications for attribution. In it, they will share examples of "SIGINT shoulder-surfing", including some suspected cases that have not previously been shared with the public. Their well-researched paper could well become an important reference on an often ignored aspect of digital espionage.
We're just two days from the beginning of the conference, but there are still some tickets available, so if you are fast, you will still be able to register!