Black Hat keynote speaker Shawn Henry, the former executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Service Branch, started off the day after opening remarks from Jeff Moss, founder of Blackhat. Moss wondered if now was the time for the cyber-security sector to take a more aggressive/offensive approach. Moss mentioned working for a former employer years back, a firewall manufacturer that had a product that would launch specially crafted code in response to an attacker, sort of an early offensive DoS attack. This was an early attempt by security professionals to cause pain by going on the offensive.
But since DoS attacks aren’t exactly a legal offensive tactic nowadays, what to do? He recommends civil action, a la recent Facebook actions where attackers were sued in civil court. But what happens when attackers are overseas? Mr. Moss is hopeful that responding in a civil manner would “encourage” other countries to implement legal protections to stop current and future attack attempts abroad.