LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Cellphones, cars, even your refrigerator. They’re all “smart.” But so are some criminals who want to hack into those smart systems.
That’s why cyber-security experts from around the world are in Las Vegas this week.
They’re not here to hack your phone or your credit card (hopefully). They’re learning how to stop the bad guys.
“It’s become summer camp for hackers in the desert,” said Black Hat General Manager Steve Wylie.
For the 23rd year, camp is in session. With new technology comes new vulnerabilities.
“There’s tremendous value from understanding how a bad guy might get in. So if we can reverse engineer that and understand how to better protect ourselves and our systems,” said Wylie.
Voting machines could be very vulnerable during the 2020 election. Black Hat surveyed cyber-security experts from around the world. They said there's a 60% chance the 2020 presidential election will be hacked.
“That’s alarming because this is coming from the very people who are protecting those systems in our organizations,” said Wylie.
Over the next few days, people from across the tech world will train with experts. They’re talking everything from Boeing 737 airplane designs, to the what's app platform, and even cars.
“You’ve got electronic cars and you’ve got self driving cars that have a lot of motors. So a lot of talks around that whole ecosystem,” said Wylie.
Ransomware is a topic of concern at this year's Black Hat Conference.
“It does seem to be on the rise and it’s giving people a lot of concern whether to pay that ransom or to not enable that process,” said Wylie.
“Seeing the new cyber attacks that are out there and figuring out how we can help secure our own products against those,” said Kevin Beeman.
Beeman is taking what he learns this week back to his company, Cisco in North Carolina.
With thousands of hackers in one place, Black Hat doesn’t take any chances.
Every year they build their own personal network to track suspicious activity like, malware.
It’s similar to ransomware which is a threat to cities across the nation.
Although Wylie says the valley might be a tough one to crack.
“I think Las Vegas given the gaming industry is one of the best protected cities in the country,” said Wylie.
Wylie said everyone should be concerned about online data privacy. You can protect yourself by using stronger passwords and avoid reusing the same one.
If you’re headed to the convention, Wylie said to be safe turn off your WIFI on your phone. He also said you should be extra careful once Def Con starts on Friday.