Machine Learning

Machine Learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, concerns the construction and study of systems that can learn from data.

For example, a Machine Learning system could be trained on email messages to learn to distinguish between spam and non-spam messages. After learning, it can then be used to classify new email messages into spam and non-spam folders.

AVG uses Machine Learning approach to distinguish between legitimate and malicious programs or applications and Black Hat highlighted just how an important part of information security the process has become.

I attended the following talks on Machine Learning and strongly recommend you check them out if you are interested:

  • BinaryPig – Scalable malware analytics in Hadoop
  • Defending networks with incomplete information: A Machine Learning approach
  • Crowdsource: An open source, crowd trained Machine Learning model for malware capability detection.


Ultimately, this is a cat and mouse game that probably will continue to exist between the defenders and the attackers.

It was educational and important to see different ways and approaches made with machine learning approached for better detection of the bad guys.


Pwnie awards

Lastly, the pwnie awards is like the Academy Award ceremony but for the hacking community

It recognizes both excellence and incompetence in the field of information security and the winners are selected by a committee of security industry professionals from nominations collected from the information security community.

The categories are:

  • Best Server-Side Bug
  • Best Client-Side Bug
  • Best Privilege Escalation Bug
  • Most Innovative Research
  • Best Song
  • Most Epic Fail
  • Epic 0wnage

They also present a Lifetime Achievement award that was given this year to Barnaby Jack, a famous security researcher who sadly passed away a few days before this year’s event  where he intended to give a talk about the security of wireless implantable medical devices named “IMPLANTABLE MEDICAL DEVICES: HACKING HUMANS“ ( ).

Jack Barnaby was well known for his presentation at Black Hat in 2010 during which he exploited two ATMs and made them dispense fake paper currency on the stage (an attack named ‘Jackpotting’).


With all that behind me, it just leaves me to contemplate what I’ll be seeing next year, at Black Hat 2014.