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Conference Materials: http://conference.hitb.org/hitbsecconf2007kl/materials/

Official Photos: http://photos.hitb.org

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Mark ‘Phiber Optik’ Abene (Former Member of LOD / MOD)

Filed under: Main Page — Administrator @ 2:09 pm

Presentation Title: The Rise and Fall of Information Security in the Western World
Presentation Abstract

I’ve had the unequaled pleasure of witnessing the birth of two great movements: the hacker underground and the computer security industry. Join me in not just a speech, but a verbal odyssey back to the beginnings of each of these all-important cultural developments; how, directly and indirectly, these two movements have fed off the other in a manner sometimes helpful and sometimes adversarial.

In the form of firsthand anecdotes, I’ll tell of my earliest recollections of getting online and innocently discovering the so-called counter-culture of hacking in the early 80’s, and how I became intertwined with its evolution into a full-blown cultural movement. Likewise, I’ll describe my brushes with the earliest attempts to establish a dialogue between the international security researchers just starting to gain prominence in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and how my compelling motivation to speak out in public forums, at great personal risk, would ultimately contribute to my entanglements with the U.S. government in no small way.

In my transition to security professional, you’ll hear about how I helped to bring the notion of tiger teams and penetration studies into common practice, and how I continue to champion the misunderstood young people who possess these uncanny skills as being one of our greatest wasted resources in an age of abject insecurity. Together, we’ll question, after such promising beginnings, has the security industry collapsed upon itself, de-evolving into a mockery? Has the more recent trend of exploitation and harsh punishment had a chilling effect on real research and the true spirit of discovery and exploration?

About Mark (adapted from Wikipedia):

Mark Abene (born 1972), better known by his pseudonym Phiber Optik, is a computer security hacker from New York City. Mark Abene’s first contact with computers was at 10 or 11 years of age. After getting a modem, he got on CompuServe and shortly after came in contact with various BBSes. In a desire to explore, he connected to various computers. He became affiliated with the Legion of Doom (LOD), a loosely-knit group of BBS users interested in computers, in the late 1980s. Abene and other people in the LOD exchanged information about accessing others’ computer systems.

At some point in 1989 or 1990, Phiber Optik’s affiliations changed from the Legion of Doom to the rival group Masters of Deception as a result of a feud with LOD member Erik Bloodaxe. According to some sources (TLC, 2004), Phiber Optik was one of the founding members of MOD. However, according to the group’s own history-writing (available in the form of 5 text files, see links), Phiber was not one of the initial members. Phiber joining up with Masters of Deception marked the beginning of the Great Hacker War, several years of rivalry between the MOD and the LOD. Phiber Optik was a high-profile hacker in the early 1990s, appearing in The New York Times, Harper’s, Esquire, in debates and on television. Phiber Optik is an important figure in the 1995 non-fiction book Masters of Deception � The Gang that Ruled Cyberspace (ISBN 0-06-092694-5).

Event Organizer

Hack In The Box (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Supported & Endorsed By

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

Malaysian Administrative Modernisation & Management Planning Unit

Platinum Sponsors

Microsoft Corporation

Gold Sponsors


Official Airline Partner

Internet Bandwidth Sponsor

Global Transit

CTF Sponsor

Scan Associates

CTF Prize Sponsor

Scan Associates

Sponsor for Zone-H/HITB Hacking Challenge


HITB Cinema Sponsor

Avenuz Sdn. Bhd.

Official Creation Station

The Womb.com

Our Speakers are Supported By

F-Secure Corporation

Arbor Networks


Bellua Asia Pacific


Mozilla Corporation

Mu Security

Supporting Media:

Virus Bulletin

Virus Bulletin (VB)

InfoSec News

(ISN) InfoSec News

InfoSec News

XAKEP (Russia)

Insecure Magazine

PHRACK Magazine

Hakin9 Magazine

Supporting Organizations

Chaos Computer Club

ISECOM - Insititue for Security and Open Methodologies


IT Underground

X-Focus China

Zone-H Defacement Mirror

Xatrix Security

Special Interest Group in Security & Information InteGrity Singapore