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Lucas Messenger

Support Engineer

Friday, August 17, 2018

If you are not aware, DEF CON is a yearly hacker pilgrimage to Las Vegas. I was able to go this year for the second time. It is always a fun place to learn about what is going on in the hacking community, stay up to date on the latest computer security topics, and expand my technical skills. If you have never been to DEF CON, here is my (satirical) list of five things you should bring to DEF CON.

1. Cash

You are going to want to bring cash if you want to get in. DEF CON registration accepts only cash at the door. There is no pre-registrations nor credit card transactions. You may be thinking, "Why can't I use a credit card?", but with a convention full of hackers, you must consider what would happen to your credit card.

On a serious note, cash doesn't create an audit trail. DEF CON attendees are typically privacy conscious, and transacting in cash maintains that privacy.

2. A Burner Phone

To enhance the privacy conscious geekery, bring a burner phone! You wouldn't want your regular phone to be a possible attack surface, and you can flash the idea that you are extremely concerned about privacy by using a phone you don't care about.

3. A Linux Live CD

For those who are dead set on bringing a laptop (or a desktop if you don't mind lugging everything around), have a Linux Live CD available. This way you can boot an operating system to use without worrying about infecting your regular operating system.

4. Cables

Every year DEF CON has a badge hacking challenge. The badge you get for your admission price is a puzzle, and ensuring you bring cables to poke and prod the badge can help in the badge hacking competition.

5. An Interest in Hacking

Last, but not least, bring an interest in hacking and an open mind. DEF CON has talks you can attend which cover a wide range of topics. New this year was the [ICS Village] (https://www.icsvillage.com/) that helped bring awareness and visibility to the need for industrial control security.