Since June 1993, Def Con has been the world’s longest-running and largest underground hacker event, held yearly in Las Vegas, Nevada. Def Con was founded as a networking event for computer underground enthusiasts by computer researcher Jeff Moss and has since grown to become an iconic venue for improving and discussing matters in security, privacy, technology, and other related subjects.
Def Con is built around several events, conferences, and seminars. Every year, notable speakers from the fields of security, politics, science, technology, and media attend the event. These lecturers cover a wide range of issues, from cyber-security to the law.
Def Con’s main draw is its multiple “Conference” events. These include the Def Con Villages, which are the event’s major emphasis and are committed to discussing security and privacy issues. Wireless Village, which focuses on wireless networking and security, and Shared Memory Format, which focuses on computer memory, are two smaller, more specialized conferences. These activities, which span two to three days apiece, take place concurrently with the main conference.
In addition to Villages, Capture the Flag, Lockpicking Village, and social activities, Def Con features several smaller events. Furthermore, the event includes both private and public expert conversations.
Def Con also has several slot machines for attendees to use, as well as a variety of electronic music and DJ events.
Over the years, Def Con has also included several high-profile speakers. Bruce Schneier, former NSA director Michael Hayden, security researcher Dan Kaminsky, internet entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire, privacy expert Cindy Cohn, and comedian and HBO’s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver are among others who have participated.
Def Con is usually held in early August each year, providing speakers and participants plenty of time to prepare. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held almost entirely in 2020. The event will be held at Bally’s and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in 2021. The event has grown significantly since its inception, bringing thousands of attendees from all around the world each year.