updated 03:55 pm EDT, Fri August 1, 2008
Black Hat speech canned
A Georgia-born author, researcher and speaker who was due to deliver a speech about a new flaw in Apple's FileVault encryption system at the annual Black Hat hacker convention next week in Las Vegas will no longer be speaking at the event, according to a recent report. The encryption system is used in the Mac OS X v10.3 and newer operating systems. Charles Edge's scheduled presentation was pulled from the scheduled talks last week. Edge claims to have signed confidentiality agreements with Apple prevented him from delivering the address.
FileVault was found to be susceptible to RAM-based hacks earlier this year, and there are no details about what new weakness Edge found. Not only does the agreement with Apple prevent the director of technology at 318, Inc. restrain him from speaking at Black Hat, but he cannot discuss the matter deeper.
Many believe the cancellation will bring an unwanted type of attention to Apple's encryption system, with curious parties trying to find out exactly how the system could be compromised.
The circumstances are not exclusive to this year's Black Hat convention, as reverse engineering expert Halvar Flake didn't deliver his presentation in 2007 due to inconvenient complications with his visa that denied him entry into the US. At an East Coast Black Hat event earlier this year, IOActive couldn't present its findings on weaknesses in the security of RFID cards thanks to HID Global's legal intervention.