This FAQ was created to help answer some questions you may have about this years DEF CON. If you need more info or questions regarding DEF CON please check out the general DEF CON FAQ list. Available here:

When and where is DEF CON 17?

DEF CON is generally in the last week of July or first week of August in Las Vegas. DEF CON 17 will be held July 31 to August 2, 2009 at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Many people arrive a day early, and many stay a day later. This year we are adding a new half-day of basic training type talks on Thursday July 30.

Riviera Hotel and Casino:
2901 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 734-5110

Is DEF CON 17 canceled?


How much is admission?

$120.00 USD, Cash for all three days. Everyone pays the same: The government, the media, the ‘well known hackers’, the unknown script kiddies. The only discount is for Goons and speakers, who get to work without paying for the privilege. We only accept cash - no checks, no money orders, no travelers checks. We don't want to be a target of any State or Federal fishing expeditions.

Can I pre-register for DEF CON?


How many people will be there?

Last year we exceeded our expectations, and there were over 8,000 attendees. This year we anticipate with the economic down turn, swine flu, and impending zombie infestation there will be a smaller but more dedicated attendance of around 5,000.

How much do rooms at the Riviera cost, and how do I reserve a room?

Riviera Hotel & Casino on-line room registration now open. Book early - the block was sold out last year. The Riviera has reservations online or over the phone (800) 634-6753. Room Rates are "flat-fee" based on quantity of occupants. $89 + Tax and add $20 per night with 3 or 4 people. Priority for room assignment when you say you're with DEF CON is "Deluxe" when making reservations on the phone.

There is also currently a couple of threads on the DEF CON Forums that discuss suggestions for other possible places to stay near Riviera. You can check them out at:

I can't afford that.

Try the Ride and Room sharing threads on the Forums. You may also want to visit your Local DEF CON Groups meeting and see who you might want to bunk up with. It's important to mention you should use good judgment when sharing a room and consider who is sleeping next to you and who has access to your belongings. That said, there are a lot of great people looking to save a buck or pinch a penny, good luck.

How much is internet access in the rooms of the Riviera?

$9.00 for 24 hours. Free (and more dangerous) internet access is available for free in the convention area.

Is there a free network at DEF CON?

Yes. It would be fair to describe the network as ‘hostile’. It has been described as ‘the worlds most hostile network’, but such descriptions are just attempts at flattery. It is recommended that if you want to connect to the DEF CON network pretend that you are sharing out your entire hard drive to 5,000 hackers. You may want to bring a ‘clean’ computer that you don't mind being infected/hacked/etc. It is considered very poor form to attempt to Dos the network; while the DEF CON staff may not do anything about such attempts it is reasonable to assume that ‘peer justice’ may be meted out. If you're unhappy about the possible risks associated with connecting to DEF CON networks there are a couple of options: refrain from computer use for a few days or connect using another network elsewhere in Vegas (another hotel or something).

Will the Riviera allow free parking?

Yes. You will be able to park for free regardless if you have a room at the Riviera.

What about the smoking policy?

Due to the new Clean Air Act in Las Vegas, the Vendor Area, Speaking rooms, and Hallways will be completely non-smoking this year in order to comply with the law. The Hotel will have designated smoking areas clearly posted. There is a discussion about it on the DEF CON Forums here:
Any news and info will likely be posted there.

Is there a Pool on the roof? Can we chill there?

Yes, there is a pool on the roof. NO, It is not a functional pool and it is not open to the public. It may be an option in the future.

What is the age limit?

People have brought children to DEF CON - it is not recommended to do this unless you are going to constantly supervise them. It is generally an ‘adult’ atmosphere (language, booze, et cetera). If you've never been to DEF CON, you may want to refrain from bringing your children (unless they are demanding that you bring them). While there are no age limits, we have consistently cooperated with parents and/or private investigators who are looking for children that ‘ran away from home’ to go to DEF CON. You must be 18 years of age or older to reserve a hotel room and to check-in. A valid ID is required upon check-in.

DEF CON 17 will have enforcement of the 21 or older rule in certain "private" parties with possible bouncers at the doors checking IDs. This is generally the rule in all areas where alcohol is being served. However, DEF CON does not take responsibility for anything potentially indecent or offensive your minor may witness or participate in. The underage attendee is the responsibility of his or her guardian or themselves.

The presentations are open to all ages. Observation of contests as they take place on the contest floor is open to all ages. Competition in some contests may have age restrictions due to laws. There is plenty fun to be had without booze and gambling! There is a discussion regarding fun for those under 21 on the forums.

I want to speak, how do I give a talk?

GREAT! We are looking for and give preference to: unique research, new tool releases, Ø-day attacks (with responsible disclosure), highly technical material, social commentaries, and ground breaking material of any kind. Want to screen a new hacking documentary or release research? Consider DEF CON.

To submit a speech, complete the DEF CON 17 Call for Papers Form: CFP forms and questions should get mailed to: talks/at/

When does the CFP Close? Can I get an Extension?

DEF CON 17 Call For Papers will close on May 15.

How can I help or participate?

DEF CON is not a spectator sport! Before the con, during, and after there are chances for you to get involved. Below is a list of this years contests and events. This list may not be complete so check the forums to see what people are up to. Go to the forums for more info on Contests and Events:

How do I become a Vendor?

Please read the DEF CON Vendor FAQ carefully before requesting space in the DEF CON 17 Vendor Area. If you want a space in our vendor area, you need to apply. Because of limited space and our attempt to have a diversity of vendors, you may not be able to get a booth. It is wise to think of staffing issues - if you are one person do you want to spend your entire time behind a vendors booth?

I'm press, how do I sign up, why can't I get in for free (I'm just doing my job)?

Please email press[at]defcon[dot]org if you wish press credentials. Lots of people come to DEF CON and are doing their job; security professionals, federal agents, and the press. It wouldn't be fair to DEF CON attendees if we exempted one group from paying. If you are a major network and plan on doing a two minute piece showing all the people with blue hair, you probably shouldn't bother applying for a press pass - you won't get one. If you are a security writer or from a real publication please submit, and someone will respond with an answer.

What should I bring to DEF CON?

It depends on what you're going to do at DEF CON. This is discussed in quite some depth on the unofficial DC FAQ, as well as a thread in the DC Forums. You may want to bring fancy (or outrageously silly) clothes for the Black and White Ball, an annual Saturday night event where everyone shows off nifty attire. SWAG is Always recommended, people LOVE to trade! You never know when or where a t-shirt with your .org will come in handy. Government SWAG is a hot commodity, however, DT wishes to pillage those goods first!

Its generally a good idea if you are a pale geek to have some sunscreen at the top of your list. Other honorable mentions are: Blister preventions, Band-aids, Gel shoe inserts, Personal cooling devices, Pain relievers and antacids, Bottle openers, Personal voice recorders, water filters, and last but not least an Alibi.

This FAQ didn't answer my questions, or was unclear, how can I get further information?

There is a forum discussion thread in which you can ask follow up questions.

Please visit: for previous conference archives, information, and speeches. Updated announcements will be posted to news groups, security mailing lists and this web site. for a look at all the events and contests being planned for DEF CON 17. Join in on the action. to upload all your past DEF CON pictures. We store the pictures so you don't have to worry about web space. If you have an account on the forums, you have an account here. for news and announcements surrounding DEF CON.