Organized by Jeff Moss (a.k.a. The Dark Tangent) and marketed as the largest underground hacking event in the world (in its fourteenth year in 2006). The DefCon convention generally occurs during the last week of July or in early August. Those in the computer underground gather at this annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, for three days of socializing, information sharing, lockpicking, and computer attack-and-defense exercises. One of the most popular features is the “Spot the Fed Contest,” during which the hackers find the FBI and the CIA agents who, along with hackers from around the globe, also happen to be in the audience.
Some of the 2004 DefCon talks included “Weaknesses in Satellite Television Protection Schemes,” “Network Attack Visualization,” and “The Open-Source Security Myth—and How to Make it a Reality.” Particulars on the most recent as well as the upcoming DefCons can be found at the official Website, http://www.defcon.org.
Though the general public tends to think that only odd individuals attend hacking conventions such as DefCon, the audience is full of IT security professionals of all ages who are genuinely interested in making the IT world a safer place.
On March 1, 2005, an online memorial was written by a Mr. Priest (a regular attendee at DefCon) regarding a friend he met at DefCon 5. This memorial piece provides insight into the long-lasting friendships that develop at the annual hacker convention. Priest’s deceased friend’s name was Josh Cohen. On February 22 Mr. Cohen, who was piloting his Glasair, told Air Traffic Control that he had a view of “the Crescent City airport” and that he was stopping radar service to switch to the local airport frequency for his final approach. The last radar contact indicated he was about 400 feet above ground level. The crashed plane was found on February 23, 2005. Noting that Cohen would be sorely missed, Priest reminded others in the hacker community that Josh was the guy with the RTD bus who served as hotel liaison at DefCon 5.
Dark Tangent. DefCon. [Online, 2004.] DefCon Website. http://www .defcon.org; Priest. The Loss of a Dear Friend. [Online, March 1, 2005.] Priest’s Website. forwarded from firstname.lastname@example.org.