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CactusCon 2016: Security in the Valley of the Sun

Following in the footsteps of my coworker (and fellow blogger), Vinny Lariza, I attended CactusCon, Arizona’s largest annual hacker and security conference in Arizona, held this year May 6-7, 2016, in Phoenix.

Even without Vinny, this year’s event was as engaging as CactusCon 2015, and its new venue, the Phoenix Convention Center, accommodated a record-high 780 participants from around the U.S., making this the largest conference at which I’ve had an opportunity to speak.

CactusCon offers a broad assortment of talks and workshops for ...


TLD’s are interesting. Chances are, you’ve used one every time you’ve gone online or sent an email. For those that are unaware of what I’m referring to, TLD stands for Top Level Domain (or TOTALLY LEGIT DONUT! LOL anyone?). It’s basically the 2-5 letters after “the dot” at the end of a URL. So for instance in, the ‘.com’ is the TLD. You’re probably familiar with most TLD’s without even thinking about it.

These donuts are lookin’ totally legit.

When ...

Black Hat 2016 preview: Fast Flux with SSL, a unique and popular Bulletproof Hosting option for cyber criminals

Fast Flux botnets 2013-2016

In the current cybercrime ecosystem, fast flux proxy networks are an efficient form of bulletproof hosting. They represent a hosting-as-a-service or reverse proxy platform for various malware and ransomware C2 domains, as well as phishing and carding sites.

We covered the Kelihos fast flux network back in 2013 in a few blogs [1][3] as well as at BSides New Orleans [2], APWG eCrime [4], and Botconf [5][6].

At Black Hat 2014 [7][8][9] and Defcon 22 [10][11], we disclosed research ...

BSidesNash 2016

BSidesNash 2016

The OpenDNS labs team once again continued it’s strong Thought Leadership history by being invited to speak at the 2016 BSidesNash conference, held in Nashville, Tennessee, with this author being the representative. A couple of things here that made this trip special: The first being that usually my speaking and event engagements take me to the border regions of the United States, and hardly ever inland, and the second being I’m an avid user of Ride-Sharing services while on ...

QuBit Conference, Prague, CZ

Last week, OpenDNS Labs had the good fortune to attend and present at the QuBit Conference in Prague, CZ. It was held in the beautiful Grandior Hotel, just minutes from Pragues downtown center.

Speakers traveled from multiple countries and were employed in a wide range of positions, from independent security researchers to CEO’s.

Josh Pyorre from OpenDNS spoke on increasing efficiency in security operations and incident response through the use of automation and other techniques. It’s an evolving and ever-changing conversation, so ...