The high-profile security data breaches of Target and eBay, among others over the past year, caused alarm among security experts wanting to see better government intervention to prevent future problems.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosing massive government surveillance angered some Black Hat users, but sophisticated malware used by China, Russia and other state-sponsored are of greater concern. Cyberespionage attacks continue to increase in an effort to steal government and corporate secrets, while IT staff struggle to keep up.
"Either software houses deliver quality and back it up with product liability, or they will have to let their users protect themselves," said Dan Geer, venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, as he spoke for himself during the event. "The current situation - users can't see whether they need to protect themselves and have no recourse to being unprotected - cannot go on."