Infosec Island contributor Scot Terban has been selected to replace former HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr on a panel at this years DEFCON conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The DEFCON session, titled “‘Whoever Fights Monsters...' Aaron Barr, Anonymous, and Ourselves," will examine the impact hacktivism is having on the security industry.
SC Magazine reported last week that Barr's decision was hastened by the threat of legal action by his former employer for a potential breach of his separation agreement with the company.
Barr had resigned from HBGary Federal in the wake of a devastating breach and subsequent criticism regarding some of the company's business practices.
"I look forward to talking about the hubris of LulzSec, Aaron Barr, and Anonymous as well as discuss the issues surrounding them. Cyber activism (hacktivism) is in its infancy and will likely turn into the next level of terrorism," Terban told Infosec Island.
The session will be moderated by ThreatPost editor Paul Roberts and will include and Attrition.org's 'Jericho' - also an Infosec Island contributor - and The 451 Group's Joshua Corman.
"Barr withdrawing from the panel is an obvious disappointment to the other panelists. It is especially unfortunate, as he had worked out issues with speaking on the topics with his new employer, only to get hit with an injunction from his former employer, HBGary," 'Jericho' told Infosec Island.
"HBGary's choice to go the legal route to block Aaron from speaking in general about topics that are relevant to our industry is sad, and demonstrates that HBGary is not committed to advancing the information security field," said Jericho.
In January of this year, HBGary Federal's systems were breached in an operation conducted by the rogue movement Anonymous, and the subsequent release of tens-of-thousands of company emails revealed multiple instances of ethically questionable covert operations involving the security company.
The leaked emails showed that HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies were involved in developing WikiLeaks counter-operations strategies for Bank of America and proposed disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks against network systems, and strong-arming journalists.
Other information released in the breach show the companies were engaged in developing strategies to infiltrate other civil activist groups, and plans to use social media for distributing government propaganda. There was also evidence that HBGary Federal was involved in developing an undetectable, full command and control cyber offensive weapon called Magenta.