Every August, more than 10,000 information security professionals from all over the world converge in Las Vegas to attend Black Hat USA. The event features innovative research, in-depth trainings, and a few special events.
One of these is the Arsenal, offering researchers and the open source community a venue to demonstrate tools they develop and use in their daily professions – from visualization and anti-phishing to collaborative analysis and pentesting.
The Arsenal is my favorite place at Black Hat, and with the 6th edition taking place this week in Las Vegas, it was the perfect opportunity to talk with Nabil Ouchn, a well-known security expert, creator of ToolsWatch, and a member of the team that runs the Arsenal.
Inception and evolution
The Arsenal’s inception dates back to early 2011, when the Black Hat team spotted the ToolsWatch website and proposed to create a small event focused entirely on security tools.
“The main goal was just to get the tools out of the shadows and create a synergy between the audience and the demoers. It worked. Five years and 13 sessions later, the event has spread beyond USA to Europe and Asia,” Ouchn told Help Net Security.
The event started modestly, in a hallway, and evolved from there. To keep pace with the mounting interest, the Black Hat team increased resources every year, and the Arsenal became one of the reasons people attend the conference.
“Today, I meet people who come specifically to attend the Arsenal and spend their days bouncing from one demo to another,” says Ouchn.
The Arsenal at Black Hat USA 2016
The event continues to grow, and this year they accepted a total of 80 tools, a record never equaled by any security conference in the world.
“The shortlist was hard to adjust since many large global companies send their hackers to present the results of their research,” says Ouchn.
“We want to keep the Arsenal concept simple: A booth, a screen and a lot of passion. In fact that’s what attracted the audience since the early days. Everyone feels comfortable and a great atmosphere prevails.”
It would be impractical to list all of the tools being presented at the Arsenal this year, so I invite you to see the complete list here.
We’ve featured some of the tools on Help Net Security and interviewed their authors: