Defcon trains child hackers

Posted by Emma Woollacott

At the ripe old age of 19, Ryan Clearly, arrested in the UK last week over a series of high-profile hacks associated with LulzSec, is positively long in the tooth.

he organizers of the Defcon hacking conference, to take place in Las Vegas this fall, is for the first time to feature a kids' conference aimed at aspiring hackers between eight and 16.

Rather half-heartedly, one might feel, the organizers say they aren't training up the next generation of black hats.

"Malicious social engineering methods are used on children everyday and a CTF like this gives us the opportuntiy to help educate a small group of kids how to recognize, identify and combat these attacks all while having fun!" they claim.

They say there'll be a classroom for kids to participate in demos and workshops, such as learning how to open master locks, Google hacking, making electronics, social engineering, coding in Scratch and communicating in code. 

There'll also be a drop-in workroom, with a codebreaking museum, a Makerbot and the Hardware Hacking Station.  Childrens' contests will include social engineering and lockpicking.

The organizers warn parents that it's not a daycare center, and that they can't just dump their kids and run - and also point out that there might be some dodgy characters around.

"Defcon is a very adult orientated conference, more of a party then your typical conference.  There will be adult language, alcohol and there may be nudity," they warn.

"The Defcon Kids conference room will be situated in and around the adult Defcon, therefore you and your kids will be exposed to a wide assortment of people, lifestyles and philosophies."