Ethical Hackers, Arrested in Courthouse Penetration They Were Hired to Do, Tell Their Story

Arrest mug shots of hackers

Mug shots of pentesters Gary DeMercurio and Justin Wynn

Two cybersecurity professionals share their personal story of jail time and felony charges for simply doing their jobs

I don't know why [the Sheriff] reacted the way he did. Perhaps he didn't like being tested without his knowledge or that our team found major security concerns at the facilities he was protecting.”
— Tom McAndrew, CEO of Coalfire

MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, February 17, 2021 / -- Cybersecurity penetration testers Gary DeMercurio and Justin Wynn of Coalfire Labs will recount how they were arrested while probing a courthouse for the State of Iowa. They will share what they learned in the process and what it means for the IT security industry.

When an Iowa Sheriff arrested two pentesters on the job, it sent shockwaves through the cybersecurity community. The two InfoSec professionals faced felony charges, jail time, and the possibility of a criminal record for doing what they were hired to do. And information security professionals faced a possible chilling effect around a common strategy for testing defenses.

Some of the highlights from what DeMercurio and Wynn will share include:

• See body cam footage of the night they were arrested for doing their jobs
• Hear, in their own words, what happened and why, plus why they refused to give up until all charges were dropped
• Learn what kind of changes they would like to see for Red Teamers and the greater cybersecurity industry

For more background, read the original SecureWorld News story.

This presentation will be the opening keynote at the 17th annual SecureWorld New England conference, a virtual event on February 18, 2021. To attend, register here for a free event pass using code SWVCPRESS.

Bruce Sussman
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