We hosted our first meetup, and it was awesome

Posted on 14 December 2017 by Gayle Kennedy

We built it, and they came. Cybersecurity with Countercept – our first meetup – was held at our London office on December 6, 2017. We welcomed a range of attendees, from seasoned security specialists to coding hobbyists. An informal mince-pie-and-beer-fuelled meet-and-greet was followed by three short presentations from the Countercept team.

Tin Foil Hats

Ruskin Constant, software engineer at Countercept, kicked off with ‘Tin Foil Hats’, an interactive talk that confirmed or debunked many myths surrounding cybersecurity for both consumers and businesses. “Total security is a myth in itself,” he explained, “but there are lots of low effort ways to avoid being the easiest target for opportunist hackers.”

Simple proactive measures were shared, such as using public WiFi with caution (“Check if the WiFi is even real,” he said. “If you’re in a pub someone could set-up a fake WiFi using the pub’s name to trick you into entering your details”) to a “length will trump complexity” rule with password creation.

Ruskin's talk

Memory Injection like a Boss

Arran Purewal, Threat Hunter at Countercept, provided a beginner’s guide to the ways in which threat actors are avoiding writing malicious files to a computer’s disk and are instead leveraging fileless attacks in a computer’s memory. “Memory is new battleground in malware,” he said. “Threat actors are regularly changing techniques with these types of attacks, so we are constantly having to stay one step ahead in how we perform memory analysis.”

Arran broke down some of the jargon related to memory analysis and talked the audience through how these attacks are executed, citing examples with specific malware including Dridex, Zeus, and DoublePulsar.

Have I Got Cyber News for You

Alex Davies, Tech Ops Lead at Countercept, gave a holistic view of 2017 from a cybersecurity point of view, looking at various headline-making breaches and their impact. Recounting the April attack on emergency response systems in Dallas, Texas, he expressed concerns over an increase in infrastructure attacks.  “In some ways, life just continues after a data breach,” he said, “but when alarms, gas and electricity are compromised, it endangers people’s lives.”

His predictions for 2018? “More breaches, more ransomware, more fake news, more spear phishing,” he said. He also hinted that cryptocurrency exchanges seem likely victims of targeted attacks next year, given their technical immaturity.

And then, there was pizza.

You should have been there!

We wanted to provide a friendly space for any and all local cybersecurity enthusiasts to network, geek out, and share ideas. To that end it was a roaring success with plenty of discussion, contact details exchanged, and excitement for the next session.

Wish you could have heard all the presentations in full? We’ll be posting full write-ups over the next few weeks – check back to ‘Our Thinking’ for updates.

Want to attend our next meetup? Sign up here to be in the loop! 

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