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DEFCON: One-Hundred Leading Hackers to Present New Material to Their Peers

"DEFCON 12" Takes Place at the Alexis Park in Las Vegas July 30th Through August 1st

(28.07.04) - DEFCON, the largest hacker gathering in the world, announced the agenda for DEFCON 12, taking place at the Alexis Park in Las Vegas July 30th through August 1st, 2004.  DEFCON is an annual gathering of 5000 people, bringing together a unique mix of the best minds from the hacker underground, government agencies, and global corporations.

Speakers presenting new material on Quantum Hacking, the CIA's Kryptos Sculpture, Bluesnarfing, Home-Brew Mind Machines, Meet the Feds, Censorship Resistance, HDTV MYTH Box, Musicians Against the Recording Industry, Sniffing Wireless Credit Card Transactions, Wireless Security, and Encrypted Email for Grandma are highlighted below.  The full agenda is available online at www.defcon.org/html/defcon-12/dc-12-schedule.html.

"Twelve years ago, a unique gathering of hackers, law enforcement, lawyers, civil libertarians, and journalists was born. That subversive gathering has evolved into a subversive institution," said Dark Tangent, founder of DEFCON. "People that were considered threats when we started are now considered assets protecting critical infrastructure worldwide. I'm very pleased at DEFCON's evolution and am excited to have what I consider the best selection and quantity of speakers ever assembled at an event of its kind."

This year's event will debut more new technical material than ever before. Significant exploits will be revealed, new freeware releases will be demonstrated, and new research will be presented.

Some of the technical session highlights include:

Quantum Hacking: In Search of a Unified Theory

·         Richard Thieme, author of the new book "Islands in the Clickstream: Reflections on Life in a Virtual World", shows how boundaries have morphed, power has been redefined, and The Matrix is more than a movie. In search of a unified theory of an emergent multi-nodal cyborg personality and how it exercises power, Thieme addresses the implications of what it means to be the network.

Cracking the CIA’s Kryptos Sculpture

·         In a courtyard at CIA Headquarters stands an encrypted sculpture called Kryptos. Its thousands of characters contain encoded messages, three of which have been solved. The fourth part has withstood cryptanalysis for over a decade.  The artist who created Kryptos, James Sanborn, has also created other encrypted sculptures such as the decade-old Cyrillic Projector, which was cracked last September by an international team led by Elonka Dunin.  Elonka will go over how the code was cracked, and the current state of knowledge about the Kryptos sculpture, its own encrypted messages, and its mysterious CIA surroundings. Elonka currently teaches government agents about cryptography and what types of codes that Al Qaeda may be using.

Bluesnarfing - Digital Pickpockets

·         Adam Laurie and Martin Herfurt's presentation on "Bluesnarfing -The Risk From Digital Pickpockets" will be a real eye-opener for those with Bluetooth enabled devices.  They will present open flaws in mobile phones including commonly used Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola models.  They will cover the issues arising out of these flaws, including loss of personal data, identity theft, phone tapping, tracking, fraud and theft of service.

Home-Brew Mind Machines

·         Ne0nRa1n and Jon McClintock will discuss brain-manipulating technologies and give live hardware demonstrations of high-end mind machines in "Better than Life - Manipulation of The Human Brain With The Use of Machines." They will also demonstrate how to build your own home-brew mind machines for ten to one-hundred dollars.  These machines are a possible alternative medicine to drugs such as Prozac.

Meet the Feds

·         Jim Christy, an FBI Agent, will lead a discussion with a panel of feds addressing the computer underground. This event will mix hackers with federal agents, leading to greater empathy and understanding on both sides of the fence.

Censorship Resistance

·         Rachel Greenstadt, a DHS Fellow currently researching at Harvard University, will present "Tools for Censorship Resistance." This talk will enable the audience to determine what censorship resistance techniques are best suited for them so they can obtain information they want, say the things they would like, or communicate with others.

The HDTV MYTH Box

Wendy Seltzer, Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Seth Schoen, Staff Technologist, Electronic Frontier Foundation will demonstrate an HDTV MYTH box, an HDTV open-source version of the Tivo that will be illegal to build beginning July 2005, regulated by the FCC at Hollywood's request. "Hacking the Spectrum: Open Source Software vs. the Broadcast Flag" will discuss the law and challenges to receiver regulation, and encourage people to get HDTV decoder cards while they still can.

Musicians Against the Recording Industry

·         Nathan Hamiel, will show how the recording industry is no longer needed, in his presentation, "Down with the RIAA, Musicians against the Recording Industry." He will include information on how artists can produce their own music cutting out the recording business.  The hassles of the RIAA are no longer an issue. The future of the music business will also afford more opportunity to artists, leveling the playing field and decreasing competition between artists. 

Sniffing Wireless Credit Card Transactions

·         Robert "hackajar" Imhoff-Dousharm, a credit card compliancy & fraud analyst, will present, "Credit Card Networks Revisited: Penetration in Real-Time." He will walk through the process of identifying credit card traffic on a network, deciphering packets and propagating rogue credit card data into a host computer.

Windows WaveSEC Deployment and Wireless Weaponry

·         Paul Wouters of Xelerance will present a step-by-step “Windows WaveSEC Deployment.”  This will be the first ever deployment of a truly secure wireless network at DEFCON, the most hostile wireless territory in the world. In a separate session, The Shmoo Group, a non-profit think-tank comprised of security professionals from around the world, will give away new tools to test wireless network security.

CryptoMail - Encrypted E-Mail for Grandma

·         Joshua Teitelbaum and Peter Leung of CryptoMail.org will be releasing a major advance in technology, demonstrating the CryptoMail Email System, where users can transparently and securely communicate with PGP users.

About DEFCON

DEFCON, formed in 1992 by Dark Tangent, is the largest hacker gathering in the world. DEFCON unveils exclusive security information every summer in Las Vegas during its annual gathering. DEFCON brings together a unique mix of the best minds from the hacker underground, government agencies, and global corporations. More information about DEFCON can be found at www.defcon.org

DEFCON

Web: www.defcon.org

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