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Introducing the “HackNYC” project

By Mark Davis

Screen Shot 2019 09 07 at 8 55 44 PM

Mark Davis is the Managing Director of Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp

One of the main goals of Cyber NYC is to create 10,000 cyber jobs here in New York City. I’m honored to be a part of that effort.

One of our biggest challenges is driving awareness about the risks we all face in cyberspace, and inspiring New Yorkers to join the next generation of (badly needed) defenders.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce something new called the HackNYC project.

What is it?

HackNYC is a tabletop simulation of New York City, where you can use real-world hacking tools to break into things like trains, wifi networks, and webcams. You can also turn off the power grid, tapping into a key fear of many New Yorkers. Here's what HackNYC looks like:

The system was built by our our hacker friends at NSHC and debuted at DEFCON a few weeks ago:

Check out some DEFCON highlights here:

The HackNYC system is now in transit from DEFCON to New York City, where it will take up permanent residence in Cyber NYC’s Global Cyber Center.

How can you use it?

One of most exciting things about HackNYC is that it will be accessible to all New Yorkers who want to use it.

If you’re a beginner, you can attend a free Saturday Hacking Workshop, which will start happening monthly this Fall. These are free, hands-on workshops -- 4 hours long -- where you’ll get some “quick wins” while working in a gamified hacking environment (on your own laptop). We'll be opening up registration for the first workshop in a few weeks.

Or if you’re a cybersecurity professional, you can attend a week-long mini bootcamp in NYC called Hardening Industrial Control Systems. In this course, you’ll do a deep dive into ICS and SCADA-based threats and defensive techniques, using the HackNYC system with real-world equipment like Mitsubishi PLCs. You’ll work through 7 realistic scenarios including:

  • Attacking a SCADA system using a zero-day vulnerability
  • Attacking air-gapped ICS machines with USB devices
  • Attacking via radio using SDR (software-defined radio)
  • Attacking via Modbus
  • Attacking via social engineering

Then you’ll learn how to defend against these attacks, which is the key goal of this course. We'll be announcing pricing and dates for this course shortly.

More information

If you want to get involved in the HackNYC project, then please reach out to me on Twitter (my DM’s are open).

Special thanks to the team from NSHC, it was an honor working with you guys for DEFCON 27!

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