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DEF CON 30: what it is and where to find us

When it comes to your cyber security, you have to keep ahead of the curve.

def con

From emerging technologies, to the latest vulnerabilities, to common practices of bad actors, a true expert never stops learning. That’s why the CovertSwarm team is proudly attending DEF CON 30 Las Vegas, one of the largest and oldest annual hacker conventions in the world. We take any opportunity to strengthen our collective knowledge and expertise, because by investing in our Swarm, we pass that value on to our clients — ensuring your assets hold up to relentless cyber attack.

What is DEF CON?

DEF CON — meaning ‘defense readiness condition’ — is a world-famous hacker convention that unites both policy makers and tech experts, encouraging people to network, share their learnings and improve cyber security across all corners of the internet. 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the convention, hence ‘DEF CON 30’ or ‘DC30’.

Who founded DEF CON and why?

It was founded in 1993 by Jeff Moss, a computer expert and hacker (alias Dark Tangent), almost accidentally. It was originally held as a one-off farewell party among hacker friends, but was so successful that it grew to become an annual event of global proportions, with hackers from all over the world taking part in its talks, competitions and demos. Today, it can boast as many as 30,000 attendees.

One of the biggest reasons DEF CON is so popular and enduring is because it’s founded on the belief that hackers, researchers and academics should be involved in government decisions about technology and security — and it provides a crucial platform for doing just that.

What do people do at DEF CON?

DC30 is set to be bigger and better than ever. The 2020 convention was cancelled due to COVID-19 and taken online (dubbed ‘DEF CON Safe Mode’), while in 2021, many people attended virtually via Twitch and Discord. Highlights of this year’s con include:

  • Contests: Compete for the ultimate prize: a Black Badge that grants the wearer lifetime DEF CON entry (effectively worth thousands of dollars). Games include capture the flag, lock picking and scavenger hunts, giving hackers the chance to flex their skills (and pick up a few new ones, too).

  • Talks and demolabs: Gain real-world insight into new tools, threats and software. 2022’s wide-ranging schedule covers areas like antivirus evasion, cloud environment penetration testing, password management and authentication, and machine learning, hardware hacking, attack vectors and more. There are still more talks to be announced, so there will be plenty to see — whatever your interests and specialisms.

  • Networking: Socialise with people and businesses from sectors as diverse as cyber security, education, engineering and government. DEF CON is home to hackers, students, academics, experts and entrepreneurs — anyone who’s interested in keeping data and technology secure. You’ll also find the CovertSwarm team in attendance, too (more on that later).

  • Events: Meet up and network through a variety of events — some official, some unofficial. This year’s line-up includes running and bike riding, drumming workshops, the return of the famous Black & White Ball, movie nights and more.

  • Villages: Choose your own adventure. DEF CON’s ‘villages’ are actually hubs dotted around the venue, dedicated to everything from aerospace to bio hacking, crypto and the IoT.

Is DEF CON for me?

From hackers to SMEs and global enterprises , DEF CON really is open to everyone. There’s lots to see, do and learn about cyber security, which all serves to better protect you (and your assets) in the future. Whatever your interests, you can take part in technical training, discussion points and hands-on hacking simulations. Best of all, DEF CON continues to diversify the sector, from the Girls Hack Village to the Blacks in Cybersecurity (BIC) Village, and the infamous R00tz Asylum, which aims to teach kids safety and responsibility online through games and workshops.

How do I meet up with CovertSwarm?

We’re a team of ethical hackers, and networking is a key way to learn, grow and add value to our clients. We’re always open to meeting new people, whether it’s like-minded techsperts to pool knowledge, top talent to welcome into our team, or new clients looking for a robust cyber security solution.

Most of the team will be in Las Vegas from Thursday 11th to Monday 15th August, while our executive team will be heading out earlier to attend Black Hat, a sister convention to DEF CON.

Get in touch if you’d like to set up a meeting, or even if you just want to grab a drink and have a chat. It’d be great to meet you.

Why is CovertSwarm at DEF CON?

A highly-specialised Swarm made up of distinct Hives, we’re at the top of our game, and stop at nothing to protect some of the biggest businesses in the world. DEF CON is a highlight in every ethical hacker’s calendar and gives us the chance to shape our sector for the better, while keeping your valuable data out of the hands of bad actors. You can trust us to find your weaknesses – and fix them – before someone else does. It’s the reason we’re the first choice in cyber security for sectors like finance, communications and government — and hopefully, yours too.

How do I contact CovertSwarm?

Whatever your background, industry and interests, if cyber security is important to you, we want to hear from you. Come and meet us at DEF CON, or get in touch. We’re looking to connect with:

  • Brands and businesses: Whether you’re in need of advice, workshops, relentless cyber security attack or red teaming as a service, we’ll help you maintain a secure and successful website. Just get in touchto get started.

  • Ethical hackers: From established names in the industry to fresh-from-college faces, we know the power of the hive mind better than anyone. If you want to broaden your network, share ideas, learn more about cyber security or just connect with like-minded tech experts, then visit our blog or follow us on LinkedIn for our latest updates.

  • Cyber security talent: Our strength lies in our Swarm, so we’re always open to applications from new Hive members who demonstrate proven talent and expertise in our sector. Because if you’ve got the skills, we want you on our side. Check our careers page for the latest opportunities, or see what it’s like to work with us.

What’s next for CovertSwarm?

We’re spending the next few weeks prepping for DC30, but you’ll also see us on some other hacker circuits this year, including Black Hat Europe and the International Cyber Expo. We’ll be releasing more info on these soon.

In the meantime, grab your gear, get your pass and we’ll see you in Vegas.