Defcon growing pains - Rush of people delay opening

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Las Vegas (NV) - A massive rush of people delayed the opening of the Defcon computer security convention for about two hours. Riviera hotel security and Defcon "Goons" security said the Fire Marshal was late in approving the venue. An unexpectedly higher number of attendees forced the Fire Marshal to recheck the area and delay the 10 AM opening.

Opening hours of Defcon ...

During the wait, some people spent time shopping for Defcon-related clothes while others tried their luck at the blackjack tables. The "Lockpicking Village" was the one convention venue that was open. Dozens of people tried picking open several deadbolt locks, while "Deviant" gave helpful instruction on how to quickly open tough locks.

Defcon finally opened at around noon and people streamed into the vendor and talk areas. The infamous "Wall of Sheep" immediately began finding victims. The wall is a big screen that shows sniffed passwords, emails and chats from unsuspecting attendees sending messages through the wireless network.

Wall of Sheep

The high number of attendees has already caused a shortage of badges. The white "Human" badges for normal attendees have temporarily run out, according to registration officials.