DefCon II: Las Vegas – July 22-24, 1994

Las Vegas connotes radically different images to radically different folks. The Rat Pack of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. elicits up the glistening self-indulgent imagery of Vegas’ neon organized crime in the ’50’s (Ocean’s Eleven displayed only minor hacking skills.)

Then there’s the daily bus loads of elderly nickel slot gamblers from Los Angeles and Palm Springs who have nothing better to do for twenty out of twenty four hours each day. (Their dead hus bands were golf hacks.) Midwesterners now throng to the Mississippi River for cheap gambling.

Recreational vehicles of semi-trailor length from East Bullock, Montana and Euclid, Oklahoma and Benign, Ohio clog routes 80 and 40 and 10 to descend with a vengeance upon an asphalt home away from home in the parking lot of Circus Circus. By cultural demand, every Rv’er worth his salt must, at least once in his life, indulge in the depravity of Glitter Gulch.

And so they come, compelled by the invisibly insidious derelict attraction of a desert Mecca whose only purpose in life is to suck the available cash from addicted visitor’s electronic purses of ATM and VISA cards. (Hacker? Nah . . .)

Vegas also has the distinction of being home to the largest of the largest conventions and exhibitions in the world. Comdex is the world’s largest computer convention where 150,000 techno- dweebs and silk suited glib techno-marketers display their wares to a public who is still paying off the 20% per annum debt on last year’s greatest new electronic gismo which is now rendered thoroughly obsolete. And the Vegas Consumer Electronic Show does for consumer electronics what the First Amendment does for pornography. (Hackers, are we getting close?)

In between, hundreds upon hundreds of small conferences and conventions and sales meetings and annual excuses for excess all select Las Vegas as the ultimate host city. Whatever you want, no matter how decadent, blasphemous, illegal or immoral, at any hour, is yours for the asking, if you have cash or a clean piece of plastic.

So, it comes as no surprise, that sooner or later, (and it turns out to be sooner) that the hackers of the world, the computer hackers, phone phreaks, cyber-spooks, Information Warriors, data bankers, Cyber-punks, Cypher-punks, eavesdroppers, chippers, virus writers and perhaps the occasional Cyber Christ again picked Las Vegas as the 1994 site for DefCon II.

Read the rest of the wild and crazy story by clicking the button below!