skip to main content

DEF CON Hacking Conference

DCG FAQ


Q: What are DC-Groups?

A: The DEF CON Groups were spawned from the annual DEF CON security conference in Las Vegas. The DEF CON Groups (DCGs or DC-Groups) are a gathering point for folks interested in the alternate applications of modern technology, referred to properly as 'hacking'. DCGs are not intended to compete with any other computer groups, such as 2600, but rather to provide yet another gathering place for the discussion of technology and security topics. DCG meetings are open to anyone, regardless of their skill, age, job, gender, etc. DCGs are designed to help you learn new things, meet new people, mentor others in areas you may be strong in, and provide some cohesion within the hacker culture and it's members.


Q: How many DCGs are there?

A: Currently there are over 270 different DCGs, spanning about half the US states and 20+ various countries around the world, including India, Malaysia, Iran, Japan, Great Britain, and Brazil. If you're interested in starting a DCG in your area, please refer to the DCG POC FAQ using the link above.


Q: Who runs the DCGs?

A: The DCGs are run by a variety of members in each city/state/country. The organizers range from Information Security Professionals, Networking Specialist, Web Designers and Students. Many of the groups are run by the same individuals that help run Defcon, so this could be your chance to prove yourself and get more involved in the conference.


Q: When/Where do they meet?

A: Each DCG has their own schedule and location for meeting each month. Some of the groups meet more than once a month based on the number of 'projects' or 'research' they're conducting. For information on the meeting near you, please contact the POC for your group as shown on the main DCG listing at www.defcon.org.


Q: What do I do if the DCG POC in my area doesn't respond to my email?

A: Do to the sheer number of DCGs, it would be impossible for any DEF CON staff member to monitor the acitivity of all the groups. If you attempt to contact the POC in your area and there is no response, please email dcgroups{ax}defcon[dot]org. At that point, we will attempt to contact the POC. If the POC fails to respond, within a reasonable amount of time, the group may be considered inactive and removed from the official list. You may also decide that you'd like to start your own DCG in your area if the organizer of the first group has been inactive for an extended period of time.


Q: Does this mean that there can be multiple groups in a single area?

A: DEF CON will not stop the formation of competing groups in the same city or region. We understand that there are often personality or political conflicts that might cause issues. As such, we assume that Darwin's law of evolution will take effect and only the strongest groups will survive. If you think you have what it takes to successfully lead a DCG in your area, we encourage you to read the DCG POC FAQ on this same site.


Q: What are the people who attend these meetings like?

A: Just like the organizers of the event, the attendee's vary widely. They come from every walk of life and profession crossing cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, age, boundaries that usually separate other organizations. This is done because they all share a common interest in technology that brings them all together.


Q: Is this a hacker meeting?

A: No, this is something better. Anything with the 'hacker' label on it tends attract only one kind of person. This meeting is designed to attract not only hackers but members of the InfoSec community and people who want to learn more about InfoSec but do not consider themselves hackers. The purpose here is to interact with people who may have different backgrounds but share the same passion for technology. Many security people feel that hackers are nothing but trouble and many hackers feel that security people are clueless. Those generalizations are often made in error and we'd like to bring all techno-dweebs back under a single umbrella.


Q: Are skript kids, lamers, and n00bs welcome?

A: Yes, but with caveats. Some meetings and groups try to exclude those they consider to be lame, unskilled, or just simply new. Most folks do so because they want to forget that at one point, they themselves were new/unskilled too. The DCGs are more than happy to have these folks, provided they are there to learn a few things and have a desire to increase their skill. If you are content being a script kid, a lamer, or a n00b, feel free to attend but try not to be disruptive of those there to learn new things. As the quote says 'Ignorance is forgivable, because it's curable; stupidity is not... The difference between ignorance and stupidity is in the desire to remain ignorant'. Being a hacker is about wanting to evolve quicker than the masses, so we encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity to do so.


Q: Is there a mailing list/website for members of the DCGs?

A: This varies between each individual group. Many have websites and mailing lists already setup. For more information on this subject, check http://www.defcon.org and find the DC-Group in your area.


Q: Does Illegal Activity happen at these meetings?

A: DEF CON does not condone illegal activity, and neither do the DCGs.


Q: Some meetings I've been to in the past were more policitcal than technical. Is the DCG program the same way?

A: The DCGs try very hard to steer clear of politically charged conversations. The groups were created with the aforementioned goals in mind. Political activism/hacktivism is not one of those goals. There may be folks who are part of the hacktivist movements involved, however it is not an official goal of the DCGs.


Q: I'm with law enforcement or the media, can I come?

A: Sure, just be open with people about who you are and what you do. This helps us to get on an even ground and avoid any misunderstandings. In fact, if you could drop an email to the local DC-Group point of contact ahead of time we would appreciate it. Failure to disclose who you are might lead to the perception that you're out to "get someone". You already know who we are, we expect the same information from you.


Q: How did the DCGs come into existence?

A: The DCGs were a concept of russr after discussions with other DEF CON goons about the lack of quality technology meetings in their various local cities. They were introduced at DEF CON 12 with the initial 6 DCGs. Today, there are dozens of DEF CON goons involved with the DCG program in one manner or another.


Q: Who are the people behind the DCG program?

A: Although there are dozens of goons that participate in the DCGs, there are a few that work hard to keep the program active and on track. DEF CON sends a shout out to blakdayz, converge, noid, saki, blackbeetle, russr, and all the DCG POCs for their hard work. If you see these folks at DEF CON and enjoy your DCG, let them know. The current coordinator for all things DC-Groups related is blakdayz. You can reach him personally by emailing b[remove]l[remove]a[yep,removeit]k[remove!]@defcon.org