Ex-Secret Service agent and convicted hacker share stage at GISEC Global | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

A former United States Secret Service Agent and a Vietnamese former-hacker-turned-cybersecurity-specialist are set to reunite for the first time at GISEC Global 2024 to discuss their unique cat-and-mouse-style chase, which ultimately resulted in an arrest and conviction.

Matt O’Neil is a retired U.S. Secret Service Agent who worked as the Managing Director of Cyber Operations, where he led the service’s global cyber investigative operations, digital forensics, mobile wireless tracking, and critical systems protection portfolio.

Arguably the most significant breakthrough in his career, the Ngo case saw O’Neil develop a plan to lure the hacker out of Vietnam and into Guam. This resulted in a conviction and sentencing that led to countless other hackers being brought to justice from Hieu’s ensuing testimonies.

Hieu Minh Ngo—widely known by his online persona, Hieu PC—has been recognised as one of the most prolific identity theft hackers in U.S. history. Before his arrest in 2013, he stole and sold the data of over 200 million Americans.

Hieu served seven years of his 13-year prison sentence, after which he returned to Vietnam in 2020 and shifted his focus towards improving cybersecurity practices and fighting against fraud.

His redemption story has been acknowledged by leading tech companies, such as Apple and Verizon, who have celebrated Hieu’s work in identifying and resolving security flaws in the global cybersecurity industry.

A historic session between agent and hacker

The session will offer an inside look at a cyber-criminal investigation from the perspective of both the hunted and the hunter. It will also provide a platform for Hieu to share his transition from hacker to cybersecurity specialist, using his skills and knowledge of cybercrime to combat evolving threats and educate a new generation of digital professionals.

Commenting on the opportunity, Matt O’Neil, a former U.S. Secret Service Agent, said: “I’m looking forward to sharing more of my experience as a former U.S. Secret Service Agent and my involvement in investigating cybercrime. Sharing findings on what criminals are actually doing—and how they’re doing it—provides a tremendous amount of value to cybersecurity professionals tasked with protecting networks.”

O’Neil added: “I’m confident that this session with Hieu will provide incredible insight into financially motivated cybercrime, as well as the need to develop new ways of sharing information across the industry at scale, in real-time, to disrupt the constant evolution of cyber threats.”

Hieu Minh Ngo said: “My journey from being involved in cybercrime to becoming an advocate for cybersecurity signifies the potential for broader redemption across the industry. Taking to the stage with Mr. Matt O’Neill is a historic moment for me, and I’m excited to share more around my new-found passion for fostering an empowered community of cybersecurity professionals around the world.”

Returning for its 13th record-breaking edition from 23-25 April 2024, GISEC Global will welcome over 20,000 visitors and 750 exhibiting companies, such as Huawei, Honeywell, du, Microsoft, Google Cloud Security, Kaspersky, Cloudflare, Qualys, Spire Solutions, and Pentera. More than 350 global cybersecurity speakers, and over 1,000 ethical hackers from 130-plus countries will come together at the Middle East and Africa’s largest and most impactful cybersecurity event.


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National Cyber Security