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Hack Attack

Christmas in July: Our tech guy gets out and heads to Defcon13, where else...

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by Erin Scott, for outsideleft.com
originally published: December, 2005
During the con and after returning it struck me that Defcon is a unique and unusual (weird) place.

So, I'm back from defcon13 and no worse for the wear.  As usual hacking abounded, drinking confounded and some great speakers astounded but enough alliteration already!

As with years before this year's highlights included talks from Dan Kaminsky (who gives a great talk even while drizunk) and Johnny Long but there were also a fair number of seemingly dull talks that turned out to be rad! An example was the "hacking infrared" talk. In the presentation, the speaker was able to show how he gained access to hotel networks and customer information just by using an infrared sensor! What's more you can download an app for your palm device () to use the infrared port for "unintended" uses. Other good talks included geographical ip blocking and google adwords hacking which included tips on getting your website to show up as an ad a competitors website.

Some other defcon highlights are as follows:
Successfully picking the hotel locks
Getting drunk
Swimming in a kool-aid flavored pool
Watching drunk friend puke off a balcony
Trying to sneak into the data center (hey, we had to try!)
Getting drunker
The wall of sheep (people who attended defcon and were hacked)
The titties of the "Vannah White" of hacker Jeopardy
Watching contestants in hacker jeopardy drink too much beer and ralph behind stage

During the con and after returning it struck me that Defcon is a unique and unusual (weird) place.  I started to make a list of what it is that makes Defcon so memorable.  Here goes.

Defcon... First and foremost is a raging sausage fest. Any girls who show up are few, far between and most of all brave.
Is a place where people will laugh at a joke with a punchline involving little endian vs big endian.
Could double as "The homemade black t-shirt" convention.
Could be confused for a hippie convention if the only sense you had to rely on was your sense of smell.
Is the only place I know where guys aren't afraid to admit they can speak Klingon.
Is the only convention outside of the Jack Daniels Fan Club Convention where speakers have a high probability of being drunk.

For more computer geekery... Check out Erin's website, the Los Angeles Computer Guru

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