Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Unintended Consquences of Blackhat '05

(by arthur)
I’m back from travels, so it’s time to post some more….
As Adam just posted, Jeff Moss sold Blackhat to CMP Media. Presumably, this sale is partially (largely?) a result of the various lawsuits that Blackhat was dealing with as fallout of “Cisco-gate”. Fortunately, these were recently settled in an equitable fashion, but clearly if Cisco had chosen to file a full Cease and Desist against Blackhat, Jeff would have been forced to shutdown the show, refund all the attendees registration fees and eat all the costs of the conference himself, probably bankrupting Blackhat along the way. Selling Blackhat to a large organization with deep pockets seems like a wise move. It will enable Jeff to continue to support open disclosure in an environment where there is an increasing backlash against full disclosure. It’s a real shame that he needs to sell the company to do so. I just hope that Blackhat remains as good a show as it has been over the years. Congrats and good luck to Jeff.

4 comments on "Unintended Consquences of Blackhat '05"

  • Chris Walsh says:


  • Chris Walsh says:

    Clearly, BH05 was not intended to lead to the sale.
    However, this outcome may well have been foreseen by Cisco once the Lynn presentation took place.

  • Arthur says:

    Well unintended consequences of allowing Mike to speak. Or perhaps a better title would have been Unintended Consequences of Full Disclosure.

  • Scott Blake says:

    An interesting theory, but unfortunately it doesn’t make any sense. Plaintiffs generally prefer to sue entities from which they have some chance of recouping something. While suing the old Black Hat might have shut it down, suing the new Black Hat will be even better because there might be a penalty, Black Hat would likely survive, and such events as undesired disclosure become almost impossible to ever happen again. I don’t begrudge Jeff his payoff in the slightest, but imagining that The Man will somehow preserve the nature of the thing is just wishful thinking.

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