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KSA teams up with Black Hat organisers to launch hacking event @Hack

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Saudi Arabia will make a bold entry onto the global tech stage later this year with a ground-breaking, mega cybersecurity event that will bring together the world’s best hackers and trainers in the Kingdom.

The Saudi Federation of Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), which has masterminded some of the Kingdom’s most innovative high-tech bootcamps and events, and Informa Tech, organisers of the world’s most renowned cybersecurity networking event series Black Hat, are bringing their global experience and industry know how to life through @Hack – set to take place at the Riyadh Front Expo Centre from November 28-30, 2021 in a partnership with the national telecoms operator STC.

The event is being held in support of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and SAFCSP’s mission to make one in every 100 Saudi citizens a programmer and to elevate the Kingdom’s status in the tech domain.

Thousands of attendees will benefit from in-depth, hands-on technical courses on topics ranging from broader offensive security to the latest techniques in penetration testing, infrastructure hacking, mobile application security, analysing automotive electrical systems and everything in between.

In order to deliver this, @Hack is the official Middle East facilitator and distributor for Offensive Security, a leading cybersecurity training partner for major organisations including the US Armed Forces, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM. Defining the standard of excellence in penetration testing, their elite security instructors will be among the 50 Black Hat approved trainers to run a powerful training series in the run-up to the event, taking place from November 23-27. A first for the Middle East region, the series will form a world-class hacking school delivering advanced tutorials for all levels of hackers over a series of 20 courses. Other supporting partners include NotSoSecure, Orange Cyberdefense and We45.

“We are working diligently to showcase our tech capabilities on the global stage and this collaboration with Informa Tech will deliver one of the world’s largest and most forward-thinking cybersecurity events, right here, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” commented SAFCSP Chairman, Faisal Al Khamisi.

“Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing markets in Saudi Arabia and @Hack will create a social movement unleashing our boundless potential and ambitions, helping to inspire a technological golden era.”

@Hack will also provide business opportunities in one of the world’s largest cyber business halls with over 250 cutting-edge brands, including 40 breakthrough start-ups, housed in its ‘Innovation City’. More than 250 of the globe’s leading infosec experts and hackers will present game-changing research, address new vulnerabilities, open-source tools and zero-day exploits.

“We’re excited to be a part of this amazing new launch @Hack – in association with the world famous Black Hat. Having seen the plans for this event, we are proud that Saudi Arabia will host a cyber security event of genuine international importance,” said Yasser Alswailem, VP of Cybersecurity for STC.

The three-day cybersecurity agenda-setting event will also feature an Executive Summit that will bring together Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) from the world’s most complex and critical organisations to address the Middle East’s cyber security needs including security guru and cyber security author Bruce Schneier.

The industry’s greatest minds will be in attendance, including the former US marine and ethical hacker Bryan Seeley, who is the only person to wiretap the US Security Service and FBI; Hector Monsegur, one of the masterminds behind the infamous Anonymous hacking group; Chris Tarbell, the FBI agent who caught Black Hat Hacker Monsegur, Jaya Baloo, Chief Information Security Officer of Avast and Vice Chair of the Quantum Flagship Billion Dollar Project, and Olivera Zatezalo, CSO, Huawei Canada, named Canada’s top 20 Women in cybersecurity. 

Elsewhere, @Hack will put 17 industry sectors in the spotlight, including applied security; cryptography; data forensics; incident response; IoT; malware; network defence; platform security; mobility; policy; reverse engineering; webapp security as well as smart grid and industrial security. An @Hack Arsenal will see the latest open source hacking tools presented daily by 20 world-wide programming geniuses who will lay bare data security vulnerabilities in commonly used software and platforms via live hacking demonstrations of everyday workplace and home devices.

“Throughout my career, I’ve never had the pleasure to partner on an event with so much ambition and funding in place to ensure it will be a global leader in its first edition. The scale and plan for @Hack is enormous and shows just how serious Saudi Arabia is in becoming a global tech hub with an events sector that attracts business tourists from all over the world,” said Annabelle Mander, Portfolio Director, Informa Tech.

The premiere edition of @Hack is being organised with support from SAFCSP and strategic sponsor SPIRE Solutions, an industry-leading information and cyber security solutions provider in the MENA region.

“When you put Saudi Arabia and Black Hat together the result can only be phenomenal, the region has been waiting for a security event like this for years and we are delighted to be one of the first strategic partners,” said Sanjeev Walia, CEO for SPIRE Solutions. 

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