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DefCon News

DEFCON is the world's largest annual hacker convention, held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first DEFCON took place in June 1993. DEF CON is renowned for the "arcane arts" of drinking, socializing, debugging, and crowd control. DEFCON is what you make of it, so get involved and help the community grow. This Feed will keep you up to date with some announcements surrounding pre and post con events, references to DEFCON in the news, and other errata. For the most up to date information visit or subscribe to the rss feeds on the forums (https://forum.defcon.org/) See https://www.defcon.org/ for more details, discussion forums, past speeches, and planning for the next year.
  1. Children of men image

    We've given you a lot of reading so far, so here's an assignment that can be completed in under two hours - The 2006 Alfonso Cuarón film 'Children of Men'.

    The movie fits the theme of 1983 by being a thoughtful and moving study of hope and resistance in the face of calamity and misrule. It also features a bunch of stellar performances and some crazy precision camera work (keep your eyes peeled for the long, unbroken takes).

    'Children of Men' fits our theme in other ways, too - the set design could hardly be more in line with our DC26 style guide. Concrete skies, graffiti, neglected brutalist edifices everywhere - it's probably as close to a match as you're going to find so feel free to take inspiration from it.

    Watch this space for more assignments!

  2. Voting Village at Univeristy of Chicago image

    The DEF CON Voting Village co-hosted an event with the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy to highlight cyber vulnerabilities in our elections infrastructure. At the event, Noah Praetz, Director of Elections with the Cook County, IL Clerk's office issued "2020 Vision" a plan that details ways federal, state, and local government can work together to improve the security posture of U.S. voting infrastructure.

    You can read the plan here: https://www.defcon.org/images/defcon-25/Election Security White Paper_Praetz_12062017.pdf

  3. Matt blaze testimony image

    Here's the full video of a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Information Technology regarding the Cybersecurity of Voting Machines. One of the testifiers was Matt Blaze, security superhero and DEF CON Voting Village organizer. It's a good read for anyone who wants to be thoroughly grounded on the state of election security and the plan for moving forward.

    "The results of the Voting Village were summarized in detail in a report. It is notable that participants, who did not have any previous special expertise in voting machines or access to any proprietary information or source code, were very quickly able to find ways to compromise every piece of equipment in the Village by the end of the weekend. Depending on the individual model of machine, participants found ways to load malicious software, gain access to administrator passwords, compromise recorded votes and audit logs, or cause equipment to fail. In most cases, these attacks could be carried out from the ordinary interfaces that are exposed to voters and precinct poll workers. The first machine was compromised by a participant within 90 minutes of the doors opening."

    You can read the full report from the Voting Village.

    And a transcript of Matt's remarks

  4. Stephenson Cryptonomicon image

    The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

    In the spirit of the counterfuture, we offer book two in our pre-con homework series: ‘Cryptonomicon’ by Neal Stephenson. It’s a bit of an epic, so you’ll want to pencil in some real reading time. The story concerns two historical inflection points, WWlI and the eve of the 21st century. In both eras, Crypto and savvy are all that protect us from a spreading and despotic darkness. In both, hackers (of various kinds)are the carriers of the counterfuture.

    Enjoy, and stay tuned for more assignments.

  5. DEF CON 26 Call for CTF Organizers image

    Friendly reminder to all of you Capture the Flag rock stars - there’s still time to put your stamp on the Super Bowl of CTFs at DEF CON 26!

    We’re looking for a team with big ideas and the skills to execute under pressure. A team that wants to push the limits and create challenges that people talk about for years.

    If that’s you, read the requirements at https://www.defcon.org/html/links/dc-ctf-cfo.html and get in touch. We look forward to seeing what you’ve got.