The 27th annual DEFCON hacking conference this year was held in Las Vegas, Nevada August 8 – 11th and I had the pleasure of being one of the thousands in attendance. Last year Defcon 26 was said to have over 26,000 attendees. This year it expanded to 3 venues and while the final count is not in yet, I am sure it will exceed 30,000 attendees!
This was my 1st time attending DEFCON and I must say, it was quite the experience. It turned out a bit different from what I expected. Prior to arrival I took all the necessary precautious Updated all my electronic devices, ensured VPN was setup and working on my mobile devices and laptops. Even with taking these precautions there is no guarantee your device won’t be compromised. After all, this is DEFCON and it attracts the best hackers and cyber security professionals in the world!
After the conference I came to the conclusion, Defcon was like a huge gathering of several large villages of hacking communities, coming together for a family reunion on steroids! There were parties, hacking competitions, capture the flag events, workshops, and seminars that focused on different aspects of offensive and defensive cyber and technology. The focus was around sharing ideas, techniques, and knowledge all while having a darn good time… There was no noticeable focus on malicious activity (outside of the guy that showed us how to jam police radar and laser technology with an $8 kit). I actually found that to be my favorite session by the way…
I would recommend DEFCON to anyone that is in the profession of Information technology, application development or cyber security. You will gain valuable insight into the various ways that products you use or develop can be used for unintended purposes (Good or Bad). Go to the con, take yourself out of your comfort zone, meet some new people, and learn a lot of new stuff.
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