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Web attacks from Las Vegas spike during Black Hat and DefCon

According to Imperva, web attacks originating from Las Vegas increased 130x during conferences Black Hat and Def Con.

Where there would typically be 20 attacks originating from Las Vegas per day, during the conferences that number peaked at 2,612. The start of Defcon – which is also the final day of Black Hat – saw the number of attacks hit 1,916 on Aug. 7. On the final day of DefCon the number of detected attacks fell to 7.

Imperva las vegas graph

Imperva also tracked level of traffic during the NAACP conference in July which also saw an increase in traffic to day prior to 2,057 attacks. Barry Shteiman, director of security strategy at Imperva, explained  “we collected all of the security events during that time period from our Community Defense system, mapped Geo IPs for Nevada state, and Las Vegas specifically, then we queried the Community Defense data set for all source IPs that were in the US. Finally, we summarized by date and where the city itself is Las Vegas.”

In an email to IT Security Guru, he added “While there is no way to say that the attacks were generated from the attendees at Black Hat/DefCon specifically, the spike of 130x is unique. Not only that the crowd is unique.

“In a normal large event (like NAACP) you see some climb which is mostly due to infected computers that the attendees bring with them, however… Black Hat/DefCon participants are unique; they are security experts and hackers that are much less susceptible to clicking on malware links, or opening an unknown attachment. For that reason it is likely that the attacks came from the unique crowd at the event in my opinion.”

About Dan Raywood

Dan Raywood is the editor in chief of the IT Security Guru. A journalist with more than 13 years experience, Dan has been at the forefront of the information security industry.

As the news editor of SC Magazine he covered breaking stories such as Stuxnet, Flame and Conficker and the online hacktivist campaigns of Anonymous and LulzSec, and broke the news on the EU’s mandatory data breach disclosure law and a vulnerability which affected more than 200 sites.

Contact Dan on, by phone on 0207 1832 839