VB2020 programme announced

Posted by    on   Apr 16, 2020

While VB is keeping a careful eye on the global situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the various travel and health advice, the planning and arrangements for VB2020 are going ahead as usual – and today we are very pleased to announce the programme for VB2020, the 30th Virus Bulletin International Conference, due to take place 30 September to 2 October 2020 in Dublin, Ireland.


Due to the current unusual circumstances, in which restrictions around movement are in place both at national levels and within many businesses themselves, we have put together a skeleton programme at this stage, leaving a greater than usual number of slots open for last-minute papers and invited papers – we expect to fill those slots over the course of the coming weeks and months, while a call for last-minute papers will go out in summer.

But despite being lighter on confirmed talks than usual at this stage, we have kept to VB's values in putting together a set of interesting and broad-ranging papers, featuring speakers from all around the world representing many different companies and organizations.

As always, the programme includes talks on a wide range of threats facing people and organizations around the world, including some by the most advanced actors. Returning speakers Daniel Lunghi and Jaromir Horejsi (Trend Micro) will present a paper on the Tonto team, while James Shank and Jacomo Piccolini (Team Cymru) will present on another likely Chinese actor, Emissary Panda (APT27), and its activities in the Middle East. A lesser-known cyber espionage operation is XDSpy, yet ESET researchers Matthieu Faou and Francis Labelle believe this group, the subject of their paper, has been active since at least 2011. TA505, probably the most prolific cybercrime actor, will be the topic of a paper by Minhee Lee and Daegyu Kang of Korea's Financial Security Institute.

The global nature of today's threat landscape is highlighted by Check Point's Aseel Kayal, another returning speaker, who will present a paper on attacks on civil society in Egypt, whereas attacks against civil society in various West African countries is the subject of a paper by Donncha Ó Cearbhaill of Amnesty International. Malwarebytes' David Ruiz will look at another very vulnerable group, domestic abuse survivors, and their targeting by stalkerware.

Sanchit Karve and Jennifer Urgilez of Facebook will present a paper on how malware actors have abused the social network's ad platform, while three researchers from Google will look at the rooting ecosystem that exists for Android phones. As always, there are various talks on tools and techniques that aid the analysis of threats, and the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Dutch National Police will be back with a talk on a yet to be disclosed case.

You can view the full programme, complete with abstracts for each paper, here.

Registration for the conference will open later in the spring. Partnership options are still available (for details contact Allison Sketchley by email or telephone +44 20 3920 6348).

The conference will also include a Threat Intelligence Practitioners' Summit, details of which will be revealed in due course.





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