Hackers Convene in Las Vegas

The most buttoned-down attendees — federal agents — will be getting “I Am The Fed” T-shirts as part of a “spot the fed” contest, where hackers try to flush out undercover police.

“This place is crawling with feds,” said Dean Turner of SecurityFocus.com. One of them, Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Money, gave the federal perspective to a packed auditorium this morning.

At the “Defcon Shoot” this morning, trigger-happy hackers went target shooting with guns out in the desert. Defconners will also attend a formal ball this weekend, dancing to electronic, house and trance music.

Defcon has gotten kicked out of several hotels for hacker misbehavior before finding a home at the Alexis Park, said Jennifer Grannick, a “hacker lawyer” who has attended the past five conventions. But the hotel seems to know how to please them: “They ordered all of these cases of Jolt Cola, and started keeping the food area open almost 24 hours,” she said.

Defcon’s founder, who calls himself Dark Tangent, remembers a past convention where the party got out of hand and a hacker and a hanger-on were caught on a security camera having sex in an elevator.

There’s even a hacker version of “Capture the Flag.” Computers will be set up on an internal network, and the winner will be the one who’s able to break into the most machines.

It’s a geek party, after all.

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