UPS Is Scared Of Getting Hacked During DEF CON

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

While tens of thousands of hackers gear up to attend hacker week in Las Vegas, UPS is taking basic precautions to protect itself from any malicious links.

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The Caesar’s Palace UPS store is warning hotel guest that its printing services will be limited in anticipation of DEF CON, the world’s oldest and largest hacker conference, which takes place from July 27 to July 30.

“Due to the DEF CON Hacking Convention, we will be accepting email print jobs with attachments only,” the UPS sign reads. “We will not accept USB prints or any links. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

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Image: CSO Online
Image: CSO Online

Email attachments can be as potentially malicious as URLs and USBs. It’s unclear what made them decide to keep attachments over USB thumb drives and links.

We have reached out to UPS, and will update this post when we hear back.

UPS is no stranger to hacks. 51 UPS stores were compromised by malware back in 2014—about 1 percent of its stores at the time.

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As for DEF CON, attendees are always warned to take extra precaution when using public networks and computers, since hackers take advantage of the event to tamper with online security and spread malware.

Experts usually recommend disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity during a convention such as DEF CON. If you must use Wi-Fi, they recommend using your own hotspot network. It’s also recommended that you avoid plugging in anything into your computer that’s not yours. That includes network cables and USBs.

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Update 2:55 pm: UPS told Gizmodo that the Store at Caesar’s Palace “has taken this precaution to protect their customers during the Def Con Hacking convention.”

Update 6:25 p.m. A spokesperson for DEF CON told Gizmodo: “What this really shows is how much further we have to go as an industry in helping people understand security and risk. This advice, albeit incomplete, obviously came from someone trying to do the right thing. But even the experts have made it hard for people to figure out what that is.”

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[CSO Online via The Verge]

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DISCUSSION

joehawkeye
Go Hawkeyes

That’s just good advice to follow 24/7, regardless of where you are at. Not only does it help keep you safe, it saves some precious battery power on your mobile devices to have those radios turned off when not in use.

And I like to think of strange USBs kind of like a penis. Don’t go sticking your USB into strange holes and don’t be sticking strange USBs into your own holes. The outcome is seldom desirable.