Presented by Orange Cyberdefense

South African hackers take on Black Hat USA for 22nd year in a row

In its 2024 Security Navigator report, Orange Cyberdefense reported a 46% increase in cyber extortion incidents globally.

With cyber extortion on the rise in almost all regions of the world, it’s becoming more and more critical for businesses to address their cyber gaps to avoid falling victim to this and other forms of cyber-attacks.

Security Navigator 2024 report graph showing a rise in almost all region’s cyber extortion victim count data from 2022 & 2023

One of the ways businesses measure the strength of their security systems is through penetration testing or ethical hacking – where they hire expert security analysts to assess their IT environments and identify any gaps that could be exploited by attackers.

Orange Cyberdefense SensePost is Orange Cyberdefense’s elite ethical hacking team that specialises in high-end security assessment services.

The team delivers these services to organisations in South Africa and across the world. Headquartered in Pretoria, they partner with some of the world’s leading organisations to strengthen their security postures.

On top of offering advanced penetration testing services and a wide range of managed security services, Orange Cyberdefense also offers hacking training – where it teaches the methodology, techniques, and tools it has developed over years of hacking experience when conducting security assessments for clients.

This August, the Orange Cyberdefense SensePost Training team will deliver ethical hacking training at the globally-renowned Black Hat USA conference for the 22nd consecutive year.

Ulrich Swart, Orange Cyberdefense SensePost Training Manager, said that when the company first began offering its training at Black Hat USA in 2002, ethical hacking was a niche market with a limited reach.

The event has since grown to become one of the largest hacking and Information Security conferences in the world – recording 22,750 unique attendees from 127 countries in 2023.

“The sheer size of Black Hat USA is quite unbelievable. It spans multiple floors of conference space and involves a host of fringe events happening across Las Vegas,” said Swart.

“This year, we are excited to be taking 13 of our team members to Las Vegas and offering six different courses. It’s going to be an awesome experience,” said Swart.

The six training courses Orange Cyberdefense will offer in Las Vegas are:

  • Hands-On Hacking Fundamentals
  • A Journey Into Mobile Application Hacking (iOS & Android)
  • Elite Web Application Hacking
  • Pragmatic API Exploration (offered Virtually)
  • Tactical Hacking Essentials
  • 802.11 Unplugged: Modern Wi-Fi Hacking
The 2023 SensePost Training team at the Black Hat USA entrance.
From left – Andre van der Walt, Ulrich Swart, William Vermaak, Aubrey Labuschagne, Jacques Coertze, Deon Willemse, Darryn Cull, Szymon Ziolkowski, Marianka Botes & Michael Kruger.

These courses attract a wide range of people – including hacking professionals who want to supplement their existing knowledge, developers who want to understand how hackers will attack their software, and even hobbyists who are curious about the field.

“Each course focuses on a different area of information security and has a different difficulty level ranging from beginner to intermediate to advanced.”

“We’ve intentionally designed our training to be ‘extremely hands-on’ and practical-led – where participants get access to their own dedicated online lab environment that is simulated based on real-world configurations.”

“We believe one of the most effective ways businesses can improve their defence is by understanding offense. That’s why all of our courses are based on the techniques, tactics and procedures (TTPs) we’ve utilised successfully in live client engagements.”

“All our trainers are also working security analysts, so it gives attendees an opportunity to ask questions and engage with experts who do this for a living,” said Swart.

This year’s training promotional material leans into the “Fun of Hacking’ with a throwback to retro gaming visuals.

Commitment to progressing the industry

Swart said that Orange Cyberdefense South Africa’s unofficial motto is a quote by well-known computer security analyst and respected voice in the InfoSec industry, Dan Geer.

“Work like hell, share all you know, abide by your handshake, and have fun,” said Geer.

The ethical hacking training they do aligns with the “share all you know” portion of the motto and represents one of Orange Cyberdefense South Africa’s deepest passions.

“We participate in the world’s top hacking conferences, including Black Hat, DefCon, and Ringzer0 to interact with the industry, engage with our peers and share our expertise to help move this important sector forward while also providing people with an opportunity to learn new skills and contribute to a safer digital society.”

“Over the last 22 years, we’ve trained and made an impact on thousands of students across the world,” said Swart.

“22 years of training is a long time to keep being invited back to a conference like Black Hat, which I think is a testament to the way that we’ve developed over the years, and how we continuously innovate and maintain these courses.”

“From its inception, training has always been an important part of our organisation which we hope to keep alive for years to come, building on the shoulders of the giants that came before us.”

Beyond its involvement with leading conferences, Orange Cyberdefense SensePost offers training to clients locally and internationally to educate and empower security and defence teams on the art of offensive security.

The company’s very first Black Hat training poster from 2002 for their Hacking By Numbers course.

Orange Cyberdefense South Africa

Orange Cyberdefense South Africa – originally known as SensePost, before being acquired by Orange Cyberdefense – is uniquely positioned to help both local and international organisations.

It works with a global client base and unprecedented amounts of data while having the targeted skills to help South African businesses access localised, industry-leading penetration testing services.

As a result, Orange Cyberdefense South Africa is trusted by the largest organisations in the country – specifically top financial institutions – and uses the same teams and data to serve these businesses as it does to develop its training courses.

Learn more about Orange Cyberdefense South Africa.

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South African hackers take on Black Hat USA for 22nd year in a row