Black Hat and DEF CON: The evolution of Hacker Summer Camp
If you had to select one symbol of cybersecurity industry, you’d be hard pressed to find a better choice than the pair of conferences, Black Hat Briefings (Black Hat) and DEF CON. The duo is known affectionately as Hacker Summer Camp by many conference goers. Much has changed since the first Black Hat in 1997 and DEF CON in 1993. Not only have the crowds swelled, but so has the very nature of digital technology.
Over the decades the conferences have expanded in both audience and content covered. Black Hat, for example, has shifted from its focus on enterprise security red teaming to include more defensive security work, security team management in addition to its staple of systems exploitation. The conference even added a CISO Summit to its schedule, which extended the length of the show by a day. With this year’s event starting today in Las Vegas, let’s look at how the pair of conferences have changed over the years.