DefCamp 2023: The number of incidents caused by ransomware attacks increased by 79%

DefCamp 2023: The number of incidents caused by ransomware attacks increased by 79%

Ways to prepare for such attacks, as well as solutions to today's cybersecurity problems, will be discussed at the regional conference taking place in Bucharest, on 23-24 November

Economic and geopolitical developments bring new challenges to cyber security, with ethical hackers facing a significant increase in cyber threats. In 2020, ransomware accounted for 20% of the cyberattacks, according to an international study, affecting almost a quarter of companies. In 2023, the number of data breaches caused by ransomware attacks and made public increased by 79%. To discuss solutions to such problems, as well as current trends in infosec, more than 2,000 cybersecurity experts are reuniting at DefCamp, the largest annual hacking and cybersecurity conference in Central and Eastern Europe. Expert community building, networking, and knowledge sharing opportunities are the focus of the 13th edition of DefCamp, which takes place in Bucharest, on 23-24 November 2023, in Hala Laminor.

Cybersecurity faces constant challenges, especially as cyberattacks are developing faster than protective measures. In addition, the global economic situation over the past year, rumors of a possible recession, and the possibility of tax measures that will affect large companies locally are all adding to the challenges in the field. On the one hand, companies may consider cutting budgets targeted to protect IT systems, making it even more difficult to retain specialists. On the other hand, historically, fraud attempts increase during recessions and attackers can adapt to the market, lowering the price of hacking tools and making cybercrime even more accessible. For example, after the 2008-2009 recession, cyberattacks increased by 40%.

In this context, this year's DefCamp provides the framework for discussions on the most common types of cyberattacks in 2023, cryptographic authentication, novel defense methods, the use of automation in defense operations or vulnerabilities in cloud technology, and more.

Ongoing economic and geopolitical events are changing the world at a rapid pace, and the challenges to cybersecurity are unpredictable. That’s why our infosec expert community needs a framework to discuss ideas, get informed, and interact with people sharing the same interests, generating new connections and exchanges of ideas that will benefit the development of this field,” said Andrei Avadanei, founder of DefCamp.


Speakers include relevant names in the field, many of whom are recurring guests on the DefCamp stage. DefCamp also opens new opportunities for cybersecurity practitioners and researchers to present their latest research at the conference through the Call for Papers section, where the number of applicants has exceeded expectations. This year, attendees can catch up with Chris Kubecka, advisor on country-level cyber incidents, cyberwarfare, and cyber espionage, Tudor Damian, IT Consultant who will explore the changes brought about by the NIS 2 Directive, or Abdullah Joseph, Senior Security Researcher who will explore zero-knowledge password protocols. They will be joined by new names such as Remi Gascou, Senior Security Researcher who will show the most effective ways to inject malicious code into Python-based web applications, or Todor Todorov, who will analyze supply chain software attacks.

At this year's edition, nearly 2,000 participants worldwide are expected to join the on-site event, including cybersecurity enthusiasts, experts, institutional representatives, company and NGO leaders, and students.

The number of cyberattacks is on the rise and data protection is more important than ever, so investing in education and supporting communities of cybersecurity experts is a vital necessity that helps strengthen our entire industry. The resilience of the DefCamp community of experts and the scale of the annual event they organize has become a benchmark across the Orange Group. We are pleased to be able to support the most important cybersecurity conference in Romania again this year, and to contribute to creating a safer digital environment,” said Julien Ducarroz, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Romania.

Over 200 teams have already registered for DefCamp Capture the Flag (D-CTF), one of the largest competitions of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe

Participants have the opportunity to take part in a series of ethical hacking and cybersecurity activities and competitions organized in the Hacking Village. The biggest competition, DefCamp Capture the Flag (D-CTF), will have a qualification round from 20-22 October. The top 10 teams will participate in the final round, which will take place in Bucharest during the conference. For the first time at DefCamp, the D-CTF finals will consist of a mixed-format competition. It will combine the classic Jeopardy-style CTF, where each team will have to find solutions to a set of challenges in several security areas, with an Attack and Defense competition. This is a competition with a higher level of complexity that allows participants to experience some of the day-to-day work of cybersecurity teams and explore both the offensive and defensive roles in such a team. More details about the rules are available here. Hacking Village competitions are hosted on the CyberEDU technical educational platform.

DefCamp is not only a driver for the development of the infosec expert community, it is also an environment that encourages education and evolution in cybersecurity. Since its launch, the activities and competitions area of the conference has attracted the most participants, eager to learn and test their knowledge in the field. Today we already have more than 200 teams registered for DefCamp Capture the Flag, mostly from Romania, but also from countries such as France, India, Bulgaria, Albania, Ukraine, Austria, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and others, which makes us happy and motivates us to come up with more challenging competitions. We expect the number of registered teams to approach 500 by the time of the competition itself”, adds Andrei Avadanei.

More details about the competitions and the list of speakers are available on the official event website.

The DefCamp 2023 event is organized by the Romanian Cyber Security Research Centre Association (CCSIR), powered by Orange Romania. The conference is supported by Bit Sentinel, Booking Holdings and Keysight Technologies Romnia as Gold Partners, Pentest-Tools.com, OPSWAT, FORT and Bitdefender as Silver Partners, and CyberEDU.

About DefCamp

From 2011 to date, DefCamp has succeeded in attracting nearly 11,000 participants from over 55 countries and 150 cities, cybersecurity, ethical hacking, cyber vulnerabilities, and interested in developing their technical skills. DefCamp also provides the environment to strengthen the cybersecurity ecosystem by facilitating collaboration and information exchange between experts in the field. The conference audience includes participants from research and project development (45%), cybersecurity specialists (30%), top management and decision-makers in companies (18%), and students (7%).