White hat hackers to gather in Tokyo

Last updated 14:58 10/02/2014

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Computer security experts from Japan and abroad will gather in Tokyo later this month to discuss cutting-edge measures against cyberattacks.

The Code Blue conference will be held February 17 and 18, attended by world-class computer security experts often called "white hat hackers".

It will be the first such international gathering initiated by Japan, with the exception of corp orate-sponsored conferences. Japanese experts planned the event amid growing concern over a rapid increase in cyberattacks, to present and share information on computer and information security.

The Black Hat is well known among similar international gatherings, attracting nearly 10,000 people every year to listen to presentations by famous hackers. First held in Las Vegas in 1997, the Black Hat meetings are also held in Europe and other countries, but there has not been one in Japan since 2008.

The Code Blue conference was planned by Japanese information security experts and others aiming to hold an event equivalent to the Black Hat in this country. Keynote speeches will be made by Jeff Moss, a legendary hacker who founded the Black Hat and belongs to the US Department of Homeland Security's Advisory Council, and Chris Eagle, a senior lecturer of computer science at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Twelve security experts from Japan, Belgium, South Korea, the United States and other countries who were selected through a screening of their theses will also make presentations at the conference. They will cover a wide range of issues, including hacking a system to control important infrastructure and the danger posed by networked home appliances.

"Code Blue is a hospital emergency code that indicates a patient in need of immediate medical attention, or that calls for relevant teams to respond immediately. We named the conference after the code because we hope to save the world by combining people's knowledge," a spokeswoman for the conference said.

Dai Shimogaito, one of the presenters at the conference, will talk about the recovery of data damaged by disasters or cyberattacks.

Shimogaito, 39, runs a data recovery firm in Osaka. While he is a well known specialist in the field of digital forensics, a science necessary for computer crime investigation, he has not made a prominent public appearance so far because he did not want to reveal his methods to criminals.

However, he changed his mind after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. In the wake of the disaster, many computer experts, including Shimogaito, tried to recover data from computers damaged by tsunami.

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Data recovery technologies dramatically improved as a result of the experience. "We should share the technologies Japan accumulated after the earthquake with the rest of the world," Shimogaito said.

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