DEF CON 29 will be different this year, thanks to the complications of COVID-19.
While the virtual portion will largely be the same as DEF CON Safe Mode, in-person DEF CON 29 will be guided by safety and number of attendees.
The guidelines for in-person gatherings is constantly in flux and we will update our faq on policies and processes, when they will best reflect the most current guidelines that will be necessary during DEF CON.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is DEF CON doing, and how can I attend?
DEF CON 29 will be a hybrid event this year, we will give hackers a choice in how they wish to experience DEF CON. We will host both an in-person experience in Las Vegas and a virtual con on our official Discord just as we did for DEF CON safe mode in 2020.
Starting mid May we will sell badges online for the conference that we should ship the beginning of July.
For the virtual portion of DEF CON You will need a Discord account.
You can find detailed instructions on getting on the DEF CON Discord server here. There is a FAQ for Humans on Discord as well.
You can support DEF CON and upgrade your account by purchasing the Human Plus role that gives you more permissions than the free "Human" role. Join with the DEF CON Discord Server signup link: https://discord.gg/defcon
If you choose to attend via the DEF CON discord, you will have access to all the online content and pre-recorded talks. There will be contests, villages, DJs, and live chats with hackers all over the globe. You will need to get on the DEF CON Twitch too, for live streamed talk Q&A sessions, evening fireside talks and evening contests. Not to mention the live entertainment and select in-person only villages, events, and contests. Our annual tradition of awarding black badges "Uber" badges for CTF and other select contests, will continue, for in-person events only.
To see what happenings are currently planning to be in-person, hybrid, or virtual only please visit https://forum.defcon.org/node/236142
Can I buy a DEF CON badge with Black Hat?
Yes, it will be an option when you check out at Black Hat.
How much will DEF CON cost?
The price to attend DEF CON in-person will be $300 USD. You may not attend in-person without purchasing a badge. Attending virtual on our Discord will be free, and those with Human+ will have more permissions and access.
You can support DEF CON and upgrade your account by purchasing the Human Plus role.
What if I don't want a Discord Account?
While we don't think you'll get the full experience, all of our content will be released via YouTube and put on the DEF CON Media Server. The Talks for DEF CON will be released during the con on the DEF CON YouTube and Twitch channels.
I have a black badge, do I need to pre-register?
No, just show up on site with your vax card and go to inhuman registration.
Will the content be the same at the in-person event and the virtual event?
Not exactly, there will be unique elements to each, the official DEF CON talks content will be the same for both with the exception of impromptu Q&A or meet and greets. Villages and Contest content may differ, not all events will be held in a hybrid format. See https://forum.defcon.org/node/236142 for a list.
What will capacity look like for the in-person event?
Capacity is currently capped at a maximum of 80% of a given space’s fire code standard capacity. Limits will be reviewed and revised at the direction of Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and there will be dedicated support onsite to ensure our policies are being followed.
Will DEF CON limit attendance?
YES. If we are near capacity we will limit pre-registration. In the best interest of attendee comfort and safety we would limit attendance to ensure that proper distancing is maintained and locally mandated capacity limits are adhered to. It is recommended that you secure a badge with us when we open the badge pre-registration process.
What health measures/protocols is DEF CON taking to ensure a safe environment on-site?
DEF CON is working closely with Caesar's Entertainment hotels to provide a safe and healthy experience for all. All attendees and staff will need to be vaccinated and wearing a mask. We will comply with whatever safety measures are required of us.
Currently all of the hotel guidelines that we have gathered are located in the Hotel FAQ.
What about lines, etc?
Line con, queuing for registration or talks, swag, etc, will have to be planned for in new ways , and the guidelines for gatherings will be in flux for a little while. Just expect "social distanced line con" for the in-person event.
Will I be required to wear a mask? Will medical exceptions be allowed?
Masks will be required for all participants except while eating or drinking, or if presenting as a DEF CON main stage speaker. If you are unable to wear face coverings due to medical reasons, please consider attending virtually.
How will DEF CON maintain social distancing?
Social distancing measures may include distanced seating in event rooms, traffic lanes in the hallways, larger rooms, more strategic areas for food and drinks, dedicated entry and exit points, and more. There will be dedicated support onsite to ensure our rules are being followed.
One of the big visible changes is that we have removed all in-person speaking tracks. Because we don't know how many people are planning to attend we couldn't design the floor plan. By releasing the talks online allows us to complete the floor plan and have attendees focus more on village and events.
Will food be served and what will that look like?
Chill out lounges and other food service may look a little different than previous years in order to adhere to safety measures, but we intend to provide for purchase take away options in a pre-packaged format. No buffet sneezes to worry about.
When & Where will DEF CON be?
August 5, 2021 - August 8, 2021 (Thursday to Sunday)
DEF CON will be located within the Paris and Bally's Hotel and Casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.
Can I book my hotel in Las Vegas now – and how should I do that?
Yes, hotel reservations are being accepted. In order to help us fill our room block with our contracted hotels please book under the DEF CON group room registration.
What happens if DEF CON has to cancel the in-person event or is shut down - can I get a refund?
With the current outlook on vaccine estimations we think that hosting DEF CON in Las Vegas is going to happen, but we know a global pandemic is out of our control. In the event we have to cancel the in-person con we will switch your badge type to "virtual", refund you the difference in price (excluding postage) and mail you your badge, just like we are doing for everyone ordering a virtual-only badge.
Where can I get more information about what's happening?
What's DEF CON's official theme for DEF CON 29?
Glad you asked, our official 2021 theme is "Can't stop the signal." For more information Check out out our DEF CON 29 Theme Guide.
This all sounds great, so how can I contribute to DEF CON this year?
We've always said "DEF CON is what you make it.", and we belive that. If you've got a good idea or want to participate, check out the link for this year's call for everything.