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Defcon 12's Fear and Hacking in Vegas

Article Info 
Defcon 12's Fear and Hacking in Vegas
Created:
August 2, 2004

By:
Humphrey Cheung

Category:
Business Reports

Summary:
Hackers converged on the Alexis Park Hotel in Las Vegas for the 12th annual Defcon hacker convention. This may be the single venue in the world where hackers and hard-core federal marshal types convene to exchange ideas, listen to talks and discuss how exposed we really are.
Introduction

Defcon 12 Logo

The 12th annual Defcon hacker convention was held at the Alexis Park Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada. For three days, hackers exchanged ideas, presented new and sometimes scary information and partied hard. More than a hundred speakers gave dozens of talks on computer security, hacking and privacy issues.

For a mere $80 attendees received access to the talks, contests and the after-hours parties. In this article we will cover some of the more interesting contests and give you an overall feel for the convention so that you can decide whether you want to attend next year. Three download videos are included.

Wall Of Sheep

Wall of Sheep

The Wall of Sheep is a projector screen that displays captured usernames and passwords. The Wall, which originally was named as the Wall of Shame, is a time-honored tradition at Defcon where a loose knit group of people continuously sniffs the network for any plaintext usernames and passwords on the wired and wireless networks. Since this is a hacker convention, attendees using the Defcon network should protect their logins by using VPN, SSH or other encryption technology. Some attendees apparently didn't get the message.

In the first few years, the usernames and passwords were written on paper plates and then taped to the wall. As the number of passwords found grew, a better solution had to be found. A computer security engineer, named "Riverside", wrote the Wall of Sheep software from scratch. He also was one of the original people who started the Wall. The usernames and passwords cycle up and down so people can see all the information gathered since the start of the convention. In addition only the first three characters of the password are shown in order to protect the privacy of the user.

NEXT: Wall Of Sheep, Continued

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Table of Contents 


Tom's Guides
Motherboards & RAM
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Processors
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Graphics Cards
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Video
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Mobile Devices
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Peripherals & Consumer Electronics
Nikon Enters 8 Megapixel Digicam Fray with Coolpix 8700
PCs & HowTo
Drivers Improve WindowsXP Service Pack 2 FireWire
Networking
Hacking the Linksys NSLU2 – Part 3 – Adding an iTunes server
Games & Entertainment
QuakeCon 2004 Gets Doom 3
Business Reports
Siggraph 2004 Brings Sci-Fi Imagery Closer to Reality

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