BOSTON - Security researchers have pulled two scheduled talks in this week's Black Hat internet-security conference in Las Vegas - one on breaking into home-alarm systems and the other on a sophisticated Russian espionage campaign known as "Snake." The withdrawals follow the cancellation late last month of a highly anticipated talk on how to identify users of the Internet privacy service Tor.
Cancellations are not unusual ahead of hacking conferences such as Black Hat, which runs Wednesday and Thursday and lures international participants, though it is rare for so many to be pulled in advance. "It sort of comes with the territory when you have the latest and sometimes controversial research scheduled to be presented on stage," said conference spokeswoman Meredith Corley. She didn't know if three cancellations was a record.
Black Hat said Logan Lamb, an employee with Oakridge National Laboratory, had pulled a talk dubbed: "Home insecurity: no alarms, false alarms and sigint." Its abstract, which was pulled from the website, had said he was going to discuss "a generalized approach" for compromising systems from three home-security vendors: ADT Corp, Honeywell International Inc and Vivint.
Lamb could not immediately be reached for comment.
BAE Systems PLC researcher Sergei Shevchenko was slated to deliver a talk on "Dissecting Snake" on Wednesday.
BAE spokeswoman Natasha Davies said her company had pulled the talk. "We are not now speaking on this at Black Hat as we are in the midst of writing a new report on Snake that we anticipate will be published in September," she said via email.
An abstract of the talk, that has been removed from Black Hat's website, said Shevchenko would demonstrates "several important aspects of Snake functionality."