These Were The Scariest Reveals From 2019's DEF CON Hacking Conference

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DEF CON is the world's largest underground hacking conference. It's been running since 1992 and is always a wealth of information about cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

This year's event ran from August 7-11 in Las Vegas. As you can imagine, there were many new hacks revealed during the week.


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Here are some of the most concerning things DEF CON hackers demonstrated:

Hackers Were Challenged to Break Into US Voting Machines

I'm going to let you take one guess how this challenge turned out. Keep in mind, all of the machines used in the challenge are still in circulation at polling places across the United States.

After spending only a few minutes with the internet-connected machines, most hackers were able to reveal serious vulnerabilities that would render the machine incapable of recording an accurate vote. Some hackers had fun with the challenge, making one voting machine run the first-person shooter game "Doom" instead of doing its job.

Call it: hackers 1 - democracy 0.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) reportedly toured the "Voting Village" during the hack-a-thon and said, "We need paper ballots, guys."

Even Your Apple Charging Cord Could Be Hacked Now

A hacker known as "MG" displayed a regular-looking Apple USB lightning cable with malicious capabilities. These cables (which looks exactly like the real thing) hijack your device upon plugging them in.

Once swapped for the legitimate cable, all a hacker needs to do is wait until the next plug-in and they'll be able to:

1. Remotely control the infected computer.

2. Send phishing pages to the victim's screen.

3. Remotely lock a screen to steal the victim's password when they log back in.

MG made sure to mention that his payload can be adapted to other USB cables as well. Wouldn't want to leave those Android users out!

Critical Vulnerabilities in VPN's Were Revealed

Hackers exposed many of the most popular VPN solutions--showing how they can be used to breach networks, steal sensitive information, and even eavesdrop on communications.

"We can not only compromise the corporation network but also the employee's personal laptop,” said a member of the research team that presented the VPN vulnerabilities at DEF CON.

If you're still using a VPN to access work files remotely, OneDrive can be configured to be a more secure solution. Contact us to learn more.

That Office Printer Can Be An Open Door To Hackers

35 vulnerabilities were demonstrated in popular office printers manufactured by HP, Ricoh, Xerox, Lexmark, Kyocera and Brother.

This presentation stressed that hackers often target the "mundane" equipment that tends to be forgotten by office workers.

Printers may seem harmless, but they are connected to almost every device in some organisations. They're still a crucial part of a company's network and need to be secured.

Is Any Device Safe To Use?

There were many other hacks displayed like ransomware for DSLR cameras and vulnerabilities in many IoT devices for the home. 

While you can never be completely secure from every type of cyber attack, you need to be proactive in how you manage your business security.

Here's a few tips of minimum things you should be doing to protect your company data.


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