The Host Unknown Vegas Party

Host Unknown sole founder Javvad Malik was accompanied by fellow sole founder Thom Langford in Las Vegas for what many affectionately refer to as ‘hacker summer camp’ which consists of three major events, Bsides LV, Blackhat, and DefCon.

We were proud to be a super donor for BSidesLV – and are glad that our credit card company hasn’t sent bailiffs around to confiscate office equipment yet.

But in order to really make it in Vegas, you have to really stand out and do something spectacular. And while other vendors are usually in the business of throwing lavish parties in loud environments filled with liquor. Host Unknown knows that the best party is one where you can have a conversation, and invite only people who work for vendors, or have a corporate card and then thank them publicly for being a generous sponsor.

We must admit, it was probably the best party in town,

“The Host Unknown party was the best party in town” – Javvad Malik

This comment was reiterated by another random person we asked.

“I concur with this gentleman, this was by far the best party in town” – Thom Langford

After all that partying, you’d imagine Host Unknown would be running on empty. But no, these sole founders are deceptively resilient. Jayson Street made a point to find them at DefCon and requested an awkward hug.

Finally, before departing, the gents got a taste of some good old American Freedom!

Stay tuned for more awesome Unknown Parties coming to a security event to you soon. Time and venues are kept secret till last minute to keep numbers down, so prepare for disappointment if you can’t make it, and even more disappointment if you do make it.

Host Unknown, still supports the little people

Host Unknown, the undisputed leader in information-security based videos made by three random men out of London isn’t one to crave the spotlight.

It is why the group that podcasts, sings, acts, and dances, have been maintaining a low profile over the last year.

But that isn’t to say the group has cut down on it’s behind the scenes philanthropic mission.

A few weeks ago, Host Unknown was proud to sponsor BsidesLondon, providing the attendees with a wonderful selection of lanyards.

lanyard.jpg

One attendee said,

“This is the best lanyard I’ve ever received at a conference. I’m never taking this off, even when I sleep at night. It’s a symbol of quality right there. If I could ever meet Host Unknown, I’d shake their hand.” – Lom Thangford

Not just content with sponsoring one Bsides, the group also made a sizeable lanyard donation to BSidesAthens.

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The sponsorship clearly had an impact as one attendee said, “As soon as I heard Host Unknown had sponsored Bsides Athens, I booked a ticket and flight over. When Host Unknown puts its name to something, you know it’s the seal of approval.” – Mavvad Jalik.

Not wanting to stop at lanyards, Host Unknown is also proudly supporting SteelCon in Sheffield, agreeing to host the wildly popular quiz night.

One attendee said, “We don’t get many nice things up here in Sheffield, not since my dad got laid off from the mill. But when I heard that Host Unknown were coming up and organising the quiz, it was as if all my Christmases had come at once. I’ll be right at the front hoping to catch the eye of the three men who’ve inspired me to remain strong and follow my dreams.” Agny Andreas

Accepting Risks

risksOne could argue that life is all a series of risks. Sometimes we remain in a state of ignorant bliss. Other times, we are aware of risks and take measures to mitigate it. But sometimes we choose to accept the risk.

Accepting risk is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. Without risk acceptance, there would be no innovation. The reservoir of great ideas would dry up and bankers would have to make do make ends meet with mere six figure bonuses. Risk acceptance is the grown up thing to do. “We understand the risk, and chose to accept it. It’s the cost of doing business.”

But the question is whether some of the risks businesses accept are “unreasonable”. Like creating a toy that captures children’s information. Such as their name, address, birthday, photo, parents details, and allergies – then taking this information and putting it on an insecure website.  We don’t mean a website that is accessible over HTTP minus the S. But a website so insecure that it makes OWASP training websites look ‘military grade secure’ by comparison.

Thankfully though, whenever a company is breached and millions of customer records are exposed – a company can merely shrug and say sorry.  All the time while assuring they ‘take security seriously’.  Customers don’t like it.  Troy Hunt will upload the data to haveibeenpwned.com and the world will grit their teeth and take it.  This is the seedy world of corporate risk acceptance.  The terrifying underbelly of cyber-actuarial tables (if such a thing exists).

The point is that you can’t innovate and deliver new functionality to customers by building a secure website. Or waste precious time ensuring your hardware is hacker-proof. If you do, your competitors will have leapfrogged you.  Not to mention, no customer would want to pay a premium on your offering just because you say it’s more secure than the others.

Or maybe the real question is “how secure do I need it to be?”.

Host Unknown presents: Accepted the Risk (A Risk Management strategy for removing blockers to productivity)

Why waste time remediating when you can simply accept the risk?

@HostUnknownTV bring to life a Risk Manager who gets the balance of risk management very wrong.  Are the CISA auditors being inflexible or did Javvad skip a module on his CRISC?

Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below!

http://hostunknown.tv

@HostUnknownTV

Produced by Mahmoud El-Azzeh @mantheycallmoo

Directed by Mahmoud El-Azzeh

Director of Photography – Caleb Wissun-Bhide

1st Assistant Cameraman – Iustin Filip-Mucenic

Editor – Lara Blanco

VFX and Colour Grading – Timothy Greenfield

 

Starring

Javvad Malik

Andy Agnês

Thom Langford

 

Dancers provided by Epika Dance http://www.epikadance.com/

Emiko Jane Ishii

Martha

 

Extras

Pauline Singh

Lee Munson

 

An Elazayan Films Production

https://www.facebook.com/Elazayan-Films-284223804977370/

Now even more ways to get your Host Unknown Goodness

HU Podcast LogoNever let it be said that Host Unknown jumps on a bandwagon; they prefer to create their own path in this industry, and do things their way, whatever the personal cost. It explains a lot.

Therefore, Host Unknown is proud to announce the release of their very first “iAudioBlog”, an entirely new way of disseminating their unique viewpoints of the information security industry to even more of the masses discerning listening public. The more cynical of you may see this as simply a Podcast, but Host Unknown think of it as so much, much more than that. Even just getting the three egos into one room was challenging enough, let alone having to restrain Andy from his infosec tourettes, stop Jav from dominating everything by mentioning his new employer at every turn, and stop Thom falling asleep at regular intervals. How they even managed to get special guests to appear on such a show like this is simply just another sign of how committed they are to their craft.

Unfortunately host Unknown have had to conform to the strictures of modern iAudioBlog listening and have submitted their pilot blog to iTunes for review and dissemination through their “Podcast” channel. As soon as it is published we will inform everyone, but if you can wait, you can listen to it right her, right now!

Of course, this now means you can vote for Host Unknown in more than just the Best Security Video Blog, but also the Best Security Podcast. Host Unknown consider this a very reasonable quid pro quo.

Look out for our iAudioBlog on iTunes soon!