When I first went to Defcon in 1995, the halls were mobbed with teenagers and attendees seemed more concerned with freeing Kevin Mitnick and seeing strippers than hacking each others' computers. Jump forward to Defcon 17 this year, which was held over the weekend in Las Vegas, things certainly have changed. The attendees are older and wiser and employed, most of the feds aren't in stealth mode, and even the most savvy of hackers is justifiably paranoid. "Welcome to the hacker world," said Defcon founder Jeff Moss. The evolving demographic of Defcon attendees shows that the hacker community, like all of us, is aging. But it's also a reflection of how the threat landscape has changed. Web site defacements have given way to much more serious risks like financial fraud and unaddressed critical infrastructure weaknesses.
Hanging with hackers can make you paranoid
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