PHDays 12: trusting the tech thanks to cybersecurity


Digital technology has made our lives brighter, more convenient, and more efficient. However, the rise of sophisticated cyberattacks is undermining people’s confidence in this brave new cyberworld. The Positive Hack Days 12 international festival on practical security, which will be held on May 19 and 20 in Moscow’s Gorky Park, will reinstall this confidence by opening its doors to people from outside the cybersecurity community for the first time. The new cyberfestival format will be of interest not only to cybersecurity specialists, government, and businesses, but also to ordinary people who will get to see how the digital world truly works and take a step towards trusting new technology.

This year PHDays will no longer be a closed event, and the new venue was not chosen accidentally. Known for its festivals and events, Gorky Park is one of the most famous public spaces of the capital, visited by about 30 million people annually. For the two days in May, the park will be changed beyond recognition. The forum will be divided into two zones: the central part of the park will be turned into an open digital city where everyone will be able to learn the basics of cybersecurity, while on the Pushkin embankment, a cybervillage will be built where the usual forum program with reports, discussions, and competitions will take place.

The open area of the forum will represent a modern metropolis hit by an onslaught of cyberattacks. Guests will take on the role of security researchers and join in a quest in which they will try to find and fix vulnerabilities in various infrastructure components of the digital city. For this, they will need to use a special ability—to see the city through the eyes of hackers.

In the cybervillage, digital nomads will be spread out amongst the tents. The elite of the cybersecurity industry will also gather there, to discuss the most acute issues related to cybersecurity. This year, the forum will see more than 100 speakers, including developers, security experts, hackers, CIOs, and CISOs of large IT companies.

The PHDays 12 technical agenda covers such issues as:

  • Countering hackers and responding to incidents
  • New attack techniques and vectors, exploitation of vulnerabilities
  • Application development and security
  • ML technologies and cybersecurity

The first speakers are already confirmed. They include Wildberries Information Security Director Anton Zhabolenko and Head of Infrastructure Security Pavel Parkhomets, who will share their experience in designing a privileged access management (PAM) system for a distributed Linux infrastructure; Oleg Skulkin, Head of Cyberthreat Intelligence at BI.ZONE, who will talk about how, why and by whom attacks are made on Linux-based infrastructure amidst import substitution; Alexander Korotin, Senior Application Security Specialist at Kaspersky, who will discuss the vulnerability of backup tools which can become an entry point for attackers striving to compromise the network; and Sergey Prilutsky, Chief Research Officer at MixBytes, who will break down common vulnerabilities of Ethereum smart contracts and explain how to protect your protocols from new attack vectors.

Security researchers still have one last opportunity to apply for a speaker slot in the cybervillage: Call For Papers has been extended through April 7.

The Standoff cyberrange is a model of a digital state with three dozen teams of attackers and defenders battling for control over its resources. This time, the cyberrange will be modernized and expanded. In addition to the energy, oil and steel sectors, the nuclear industry sector will be built. New facilities will appear in all sectors, such as a solar power plant and a dispatch control center in the power sector. The attackers will try to trigger more than 100 non-tolerable events.

For two days, the PHDays 12’s live studio will cover the key events of the forum and the Standoff cyberbattle, and host discussions on the most burning cybersecurity issues with the most prominent speakers and guests.

On the forum’s stage, information security specialists will explain the basics of cybersecurity to everyday people who don’t otherwise think much about it.

Please note that those wishing to attend the closed part of the forum need to purchase a ticket. This can be done right now: up to midnight on April 7, the ticket to the cybervillage will cost only 14,700 rubles; from April 8, the price will be 21,300 rubles. The central part of the park with the digital city will be open and free to all visitors.

See you on May 19 and 20 at PHDays in Gorky Park!