I am not a paranoid person and most industry conferences I go to don’t generate any worries about security. You go and participate, but otherwise operate normally, working, emailing, texting, tweeting. But not at DEF CON, or even its corporate sister event Black Hat, which run next week in Las Vegas.
Those shows together attract the world’s top hackers and security researchers, who share research on the latest threats and attacks. With that many security experts in one spot, it is not uncommon to see some or other groups running cons, attacks and gaming devices, all in good fun, pushing the limits and testing boundaries. And there are also plenty of pranksters.
What does this mean for you, the attendee, exactly? It means that you have to really be vigilant about securing your computer and data when you are there, or you will end up on the famed Wall of Sheep, where usernames and passwords sniffed from the Wi-Fi network are displayed for all to see. Every year, many a security professional has fallen prey to that.