DEF CON is Canceled. Wanna Buy a Bridge?

We were told DEF CON 28 is canceled. But obviously we’re not stupid enough to fall for that old trick.

Apparently the huge infosec event is being held “virtually” due to some sort of malware (or “virus,” as the lamestream media like to say). Yeah, right—I wasn’t born yesterday.

They just want to see how many n00bs they can pwn, obvs. In today’s SB Blogwatch, we play along for sport.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Wonder-ful.


What’s the craic? A naïve-sounding Shaun Nichols credulously reports—“Show will try going virtual amid pandemic”:

 Annual Las Vegas hacker gathering DEF CON has officially called off its physical conference for this year … in what was pretty much a foregone conclusion. … This means a ‘Safe Mode’ online gathering, with video streams and a Discord server, between August 6 and 9..

This comes after the more formal Black Hat USA event, usually scheduled to run the same week … was shelved as an in-person shindig, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. … While the organizers acknowledged the … restrictions in America could significantly change by August, they believe it would be impossible to ensure folks could … attend, the shindig without catching the bio-nasty.

Show founder … Jeff “The Dark Tangent” Moss … said the decision to cancel the in-person conference was made in early April, though had to be kept under wraps while the logistics were worked out.

Oh pull the other one. Lily Hay Newman explains the “blinker fluid” gag—“For real this time”:

 For years, a simple and elegant inside joke has permeated Defcon. … You say it to your friends, you reference it during your talk, you design a fake website to try to trick unsuspecting rubes: Defcon is canceled.

Defcon’s more buttoned-up sister conference, Black Hat, which takes place in the days leading up to Defcon … has been called off as well. Both events will host online conferences instead that include research talks and social events.

Defcon 29 in 2021 is already scheduled, in-person, for August 5 to 8.

Wait. So it’s not a hoax? Jeff Moss announces the sad news—“DEF CON 28 in-person conference is CANCELLED”:

It is not safe for people to gather in large groups for conferences, sports ball events, or clubbing now or in the foreseeable future this year. [Two months ago] I was optimistic that social distancing, sheltering, a robust medical response with wide scale testing would make it safe to gather in early August. I no longer believe that.

While I made the decision to cancel the in-person conference almost a month ago … it has taken weeks of working with staff, lawyers, accountants, and Caesars. I didn’t want to endanger the future of the con by tweeting that we were canceling before we understood and were confident we could navigate the process.

Expect events like a new on-line Mystery Challenge, a DEF CON is Canceled music album, remote CTFs like the DEF CON CTF and Hack-a-Sat, Villages like the Packet Hacking Village, Red Team Village, and BioHacking, Contests like the TeleChallenge, Ham Exams, and more. We are also planning a remote movie night and drink-up.

On a personal level this has been the most stressful few months I can remember. … Thank you for your support and understanding.

You’re welcome? Except DrMrLordX ain’t optimistic:

 DEF CON online? That isn’t gonna work.

Everything will get hacked, cracked, and shut down or otherwise compromised. If not just flat-out DDoSed.

One of the things that keeps DEF CON running is that they can’t completely pwn meatspace (yet). Online they can kill the whole thing, possibly in minutes.

And with a metaphorical homily, it’s Minupla:

 It will be interesting to see if the community can walk through a city of glass houses with a pocket full of stones and resist the temptation. … I’ll pop the popcorn! Seriously, sucks to miss the face to face this year, but [it’ll be] better then the years I’ve missed DC entirely.

Although Marcus Hutchins should feel safe, thinks stiine:

 Well, at least there won’t be any presenters arrested at the airports this year.

But sneak is displeased:

 It’s incredibly disappointing to see DEF CON—a conference where you can still show up and pay for entry in cash—adopt a centralized, hosted, unencrypted system. Discord … requires both that you enter into an abusive legal agreement wherein you agree to give up your civil rights, and that you dox yourself to get an account.

Also, Sumit Khanna is frustrated with what he calls “ever-moving goalposts”:

 I’m greatly concerned people are now canceling, or making virtual, August events. I honestly don’t understand what the end game is now.

I realize Defcon draws in a lot more people than regular conferences (plus it’s all cash at the door), but we cannot possibly keep things locked down this way until August. That’s not even remotely sustainable.

No worriesphantomfive has seen the secret worldwide cabal’s secret plan:

 It’s a conspiracy to make us get vaccinated, haven’t you been keeping up? This “plandemic” was masterminded by John D. Rockefeller who had the foresight to figure out how to get people addicted to medicine. He keeps getting paid to this day living on his island in Eyjafjallajoskull.

Meanwhile, Yet Another Anonymous Coward wants to know how this works:

 Do you have to dial into their Zoom call? Or do they just dial into yours?

And Finally:

I have serious news to pass on to everybody

Previously in And Finally

You have been reading SB Blogwatch by Richi Jennings. Richi curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites … so you don’t have to. Hate mail may be directed to @RiCHi or [email protected]. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Image sauce: Young Soo Park (Pixabay)

Richi Jennings

Richi Jennings is a foolish independent industry analyst, editor, and content strategist. A former developer and marketer, he’s also written or edited for Computerworld, Microsoft, Cisco, Micro Focus, HashiCorp, Ferris Research, Osterman Research, Orthogonal Thinking, Native Trust, Elgan Media, Petri, Cyren, Agari, Webroot, HP, HPE, NetApp on Forbes and Bizarrely, his ridiculous work has even won awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, ABM/Jesse H. Neal, and B2B Magazine.

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