US spies not wanted at infamous hacker meet

Jul 11, 2013

Revelations about a US Internet surveillance program have chilled the relationship between federal authorities and an infamous Def Con hacker gathering.

Federal investigators, referred to as "feds," are being asked not to attend the annual Def Con conference set to take place in Las Vegas the first week of August.

"Our community operates in the spirit of openness, verified trust, and ," Def Con founder Jeff Moss, known by the hacker name Dark Tangent, said in a message displayed Thursday at the event's website.

"When it comes to sharing and socializing with feds, recent revelations have made many in the community uncomfortable about this relationship," he continued.

"Therefore, I think it would be best for everyone involved if the feds call a 'time-out' and not attend Def Con this year."

Started 20 years ago, Def Con has grown into a massive event where hackers exchange ideas with peers and test their skills with games such as versions of "Capture the Flag."

The wall between "feds" and hackers had been crumbling at Def Con, which in recent years has been a forum for alliances between government crime fighters and civilians considered digital-age "ninjas."

Moss is now chief of security at US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the agency in charge of website addresses.

Security firms started by longtime Def Con hackers or which have hired them for key positions have become significant players in the computer industry.

A "Spot the Fed" game that began in early Def Con days as a way to ferret out undercover cops transformed into a playful way to break the ice between hackers and police who attend to sharpen crime fighting skills and recruit talent.

It appeared the game could once again turn serious at Def Con, which kicks off on August First.

US officials slated to take part in panels or presentations at the event remain on the guest list, but Moss asked that "feds" scrap any plans to mingle as attendees.

"This will give everybody time to think about how we got here, and what comes next," Moss said.

The price of entry to Def Con this year will be $180, cash only and paid upon arrival.

Explore further: Facebook collecting Nepal quake aid donations

Related Stories

Computer hackers and defenders mix in Las Vegas

Jul 24, 2012

Rival factions from the Internet security world will mix warily this week at a pair of Las Vegas conferences gathering computer security experts and software savants who make sport of hacking them.

US spy master courts top hackers at Def Con

Jul 27, 2012

US spy master Keith Alexander on Friday courted hackers at an infamous Def Con gathering rife with software tricksters wary of police and ferociously protective of privacy.

Hackers build mobile phone network for Def Con

Jul 29, 2012

A custom mobile phone network came to life in the middle of Def Con as hackers showed off their technology skills in tribute to the infamous gathering's elite "ninjas."

Hackers topple Huawei routers

Jul 30, 2012

Hackers at an infamous Def Con gathering were shown how to easily slip into computer networks through some routers made by Chinese electronics colossus Huawei Technologies.

Cyber defenders urged to go on the offense

Jul 26, 2012

Computer security champions on Wednesday were urged to hunt down and eliminate hackers, spies, terrorists and other online evildoers to prevent devastating Internet Age attacks.

Recommended for you

Facebook rolls out video calls on Messenger

6 hours ago

Facebook on Monday began rolling out video calling on its Messenger mobile application, enabling face-to-face conversations among users of the app around the world.

Tinder, Vice honored in online Webby awards

9 hours ago

The online dating app Tinder was this year's "breakout" Internet service while bad-boy news website Vice Media got multiple honors in the "Webby" awards announced Monday.

'Map spam' puts Google in awkward place

Apr 24, 2015

Google was re-evaluating its user-edited online map system Friday after the latest embarrassing incident—an image of an Android mascot urinating on an Apple logo.

Google search mobile switch a revolution for some

Apr 24, 2015

Google's latest Internet revolution this week saw the web giant modify its search algorithm to favour mobile-friendly sites, in a bid to upstage Apple that US media branded a "mobilegeddon".

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.