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Press Release

Black Hat MEA concludes in style with 1 million SAR in competition prizes awarded and over 30,000 visitors during the three-day event

12 Dec 2022

•    Over 30,000 visitors attended the three-day Black Hat MEA event in Riyadh
•    DiceGang wins the 300,000 SAR top prize in Capture The Flag Competition
•    Anas Rouby claims 70,000 SAR first place prize in Bug Bounty contest

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 18 November 2022: Black Hat, the region’s largest cybersecurity conference has concluded with more than 30,000 visitors attending during the three-day show to learn more about the threats, solutions and technology involved in hacking. 

Black Hat has quickly established itself as the premier cyber safety event globally and is rapidly building momentum in bringing Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC’s cybersecurity community together through Black Hat MEA. Now in its second year, the conference is without doubt the largest such event in the region as attendees take part in seminars, workshops, hacking demonstrations, competitions with 1 million SAR awarded as prizes and talks from world-renowned experts. 

The Capture the Flag competition’s 300,000 SAR first prize was awarded to DiceGang. It was organized in collaboration between Black Hat MEA and Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) and involved over 1,000 participants including 50 of the world’s best hacking teams as they tested their ethical hacking skills related to the Web, PWN, Forensics, Reverse Engineering, crypto and more. Second place and 200,000 SAR went to {{7*7}}, Five Boys Cry came in third with 100,000 SAR, C4T BuT S4D was in fourth receiving 60,000 SAR and Cookie Storm got fifth place with an award of 40,000 SAR.

Anas Rouby claimed the Bug Bounty contest’s 70,000 SAR top prize which took place during the 3 days of the event. It brought together selected teams to track down and conduct bug hunts on real-world companies on the platform. Abdulrahman Makki was the runner-up with 40,000 SAR, and Abdulrahman Albattel received 30,000 SAR for third place. Roaa Aljrefani won the Most Critical Vulnerability category receiving 15,000 SAR and Turki Alharthi was awarded 10,000 SAR in the Best Quality Report category.

CyberTalents, a global platform for learning, practicing, and testing cybersecurity skills to discover and match the top talent with companies to secure their businesses, won the CyberSeed Start Up competition, taking home a prize of 90,000 SAR. The competition offered six startups the chance to pitch their ideas to a high-profile panel during the event packed into a four-minute presentation.

Black Hat MEA praised

Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco, Saudi Arabia, said: “For the last 25 years, Cisco has been at the forefront of delivering innovative technology to the Kingdom as part of our commitment to the Saudi market and to growing the technology ecosystem in the country. As organizations and governments are now rapidly digitizing in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, highlighting cybersecurity is imperative for IT decisionmakers to achieve security resilience and protect the integrity of their business withstanding any threats. “

He continued: “We were honored to be a part of Black Hat MEA, as it has proven to be a successful regional strategic platform, where we were able to demonstrate Cisco’s security solutions to businesses investing in their workforce to be more productive and protected especially with the increased demand of cloud services and hybrid work, ultimately leading to business growth.”

Sanjeev Walia, Founder and President, Spire Solutions, said: "Being a part of the first Blackhat in the Middle East & Africa region as a Strategic Partner has been an exceptional experience. Our approach to solving current and emerging cybersecurity changes resonated really well with the government organizations and enterprises we met with. It’s important for the cybersecurity community to frequently come together and help advance the entire ecosystem collectively, proactively."

Mike Champion, Regional Executive Vice President of Informa Markets, said he was delighted with the rapid growth of the event. “We have had a fantastic response from partners, exhibitors, speakers, and visitors to Black Hat MEA,” he said. “The cybersecurity community in Saudi Arabia is growing rapidly and that is reflected in the fact that we had more than 30,000 people attend during the three-day event. We are excited to bring even more insightful and thought-provoking speakers while showcasing the latest innovative advancements in cybersecurity to future events.”

Cyber awareness and protection workshops 

The exhibition was split into different sections with various displays, demonstrations, activities, and workshops taking place throughout the event.

The Drone Zone taught visitors about different methods for hacking and flying drones around an obstacle course while others worked to attack the devices as they flew. Elsewhere, the Cyber Escape room provided visitors with the chance to try their hand at ‘breaking out’ of a specially designed room by completing a series of challenges.

The Smart City Challenge gave delegates the opportunity to hack Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) assets against any cyberattacks and incidents from state and non-state actors with real world systems and examples. Meanwhile, the Chip Off Village taught guests how to remove embedded eMMC chips from devices for analysis and how to attack, obtain data and gain access control of Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices.

Black Hat in numbers

This year’s event saw 257 speakers hosting more than 200 sessions and over 100 workshops. The event attracted more than 200 Cybersecurity CEOs along with over 250 of the world’s leading technology companies such as Cisco, IBM, Spire, and Infoblox along with 200 exhibitors on ground. 

The event was organized as part of a strategic partnership between Informa Markets, the largest events company in the world, and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) to highlights the Kingdom’s investments and growth in cybersecurity and the digital space.

For more details about Black Hat Middle East and Africa, please visit: 

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About Black Hat Middle East and Africa

Black Hat Middle East and Africa will be the largest cybersecurity event in the region and feature the most powerful speaker faculty of any technology show in its first edition. It is co-created between Informa and The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones. Informa, itself the largest exhibitions company in the world, is responsible for delivering many of the most recognised brands in events.

About The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones

‏A national institution that aims to empower the local workforce and enhance their capabilities in the fields of Cybersecurity, Software Development, Drones and Advanced Technologies based on the best international practices. Its vision is to have a programmer among every 100 Saudis by 2030, and its mission is to empower and build the next generation capabilities in the field of advanced technology.

For media enquiries, please contact:

 Lara Bahous
Hill + Knowlton Strategies 
+966 50 6670631