cyber security

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Cybersecurity is a nearly $90 billion industry with an unemployment rate of zero percent, so cities across the country want to grow it locally. But finding all the variables for an industry steeped in secrecy can be difficult. Fewer variables can mean less effective strategies for gaining ground in an increasingly competitive market.

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Saturday, Black Hat USA opened in Las Vegas and will end on the same day Defcon begins making this week very important for cybersecurity professionals. The deluge of hacker happenings, from networking and groundbreaking research to new products and new hacks makes it a must for San Antonio security firms.

Larry Hurtado, CEO of Digital Defense Incorporated, estimates that 15-20 local firms will be present saying the week could represent a lot of business.

"There are definitely deals that are going to be won in and around Black Hat," says Hurtado. 

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The first successful cyber attack on an electric grid in December of 2015 resulted in 250,000 Ukrainians losing power. Nearly a year to the day later, Ukraine's capitol Kiev was plunged into darkness by hackers for over an hour.

ESET, a Slovakian-based cyber security firm, released an analysis Monday of a piece of malware they see as responsible called Industroyer. ESET says the malware took over substation switches and breakers and powered down.

Paul Flahive

Among the whir of computer fans, students are working to hold off a cyber attack that could derail their e-commerce business.

"Can someone SSH in and check if this is live?" asks Sarah Cuhna, a first year masters degree student at Brigham Young University.

Cuhna and seven other students on Team Autolock are furiously relaying information to one another, updating systems on their network, as the team is bombarded by hackers.  

"You're in? Fixed it!" Cuhna yells while high-fiving another student. 

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Americans know less about cyber security than about other technical issues according to a recent Pew Research Center poll.

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