'White hat' hackers gather in Houston to talk strategy - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

'White hat' hackers gather in Houston to talk strategy

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Amanda Roberts doesn't own a computer anymore.  It's all about her Samsung Galaxy smartphone.  She uses it for Facebook and online shopping.

She said she plays it safe.

"I only use one credit card, and I don't have the phone save the information," Roberts said.

It's a good plan but probably not good enough to stop hackers.  These days, they don't try to hack your phone but the servers talking with your phone.

"It's all open.  It's all scarily open," said Dan Kuykendall with N.T. Objectives, a company that develops tools for hackers.  "We see apps that ask for your password, and it's asking only for the device on your phone, but it doesn't actually send those credentials to the server.  All the server stuff is done without protection."

He said the bad guys or "black hat" hackers are already on it, ahead of the good guys or "white hat" hackers.

"It's like starting all over again in security," Kuykendall said.  "It brings on all kinds of new attack points and new places for an attacker to go out and attack."

Countering this new threat is the big buzz among cybersecurity experts.  Hundreds got together at the Houston Security Convention or HouSecCon.  They shared ideas and participated in a hacking competition.

"What we try to do here is use some of the same mindset as the bad guy, try to figure out how they're doing things, but use that knowledge for good to stop the bad guys," said HouSecCon founder Michael Farnum.

Farnum said the best defense for consumers is to use complicated passwords and change them often.

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