At Def Con, hackers join together to 'hack everything'

A panel at Def Con XX in July 2012.

Tens of thousands of hackers, tinkerers and makers are slogging their way home today. That's because one of the biggest hacking conferences in the country, Def Con, just wrapped up in Las Vegas. The purpose of Def Con? One stated motto is "Hack everything." That's according to Chester Wisniewski, of the cybersecurity firm Sophos, who was our man on the ground there. When we called Chester, he was trying to find a spot where his cell phone actually functioned -- many of the workshops at Def Con this year were about disrupting cell phones.

Wisniewski was with another group trying to find a new place to hang out, smokers. That's because the smoking area was taken over by a bunch of other hackers who were using technology to try and get their beers as cold as humanly possible.

"It's the single largest gathering of the most creative people with technical skills anywhere in the world, where you can collaborate and share ideas, so that we can all walk away a little smarter and hopefully all be able to do our jobs a little bit better in the end, he says. Wisniewski gives a full update of the exciting things he saw at this year's conference, from mobile monitoring tools, to lock picking, to using smart phones to turn on cars.

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...