Are you a black hat or a white hat– ACS’ conference timing gives you a choice

ACS Conference date is set for August 4-7 at the Marriott Burr Ridge Conference Center near Chicago. Since 2004, the Control System Cyber Security Workshop has been held in early August. The reason for the date was to avoid IEEE, ISA, PCSF, DCS and SCADA User group meetings which generally are not held in August. The Black Hat hacker conference is also held in early August in Las Vegas. In the past, the Black Hat conference has not really addressed control systems. This has made the proximity in schedule acceptable. This year, the dates for the Black Hat Conference and the Cyber Security Workshop overlap. The CIGRE meetings in Paris which will also address control system cyber security (I have a paper) are the end of August. Therefore, there is little room to move the meetings to prevent the overlap. Consequently, all I can do is say the hackers will be meeting in Las Vegas and those trying to prevent the hackers will be meeting in Burr Ridge. To show the difficulty in scheduling security conferences, the next PCSF meeting will be held in the fall (date not yet determined). ISA Expo will be held October 14-16 in Houston which will again include a security track. It will be interesting to see how this potential schedule conflict will be addressed. Joe Weiss