Every year since 1993 in the US, there’s a massive hacker convention called DEFCON. It is an event that hackers from all over the world attend to hang out, participate in activities and increase their knowledge on the subject of hacking. It is usually filled with adults; many of whom are computer security professionals, journalists, crackers, cyber-criminals, security researchers, and of course, hackers.
This year, there will be a children’s equivalent of the event as well called DEFCON Kids. Instead of adults populating the event, it will be filled with kids aged eight to sixteen instead. These kids will be taught defensive computer techniques, such as how to prevent spying over wireless networks, how to open master locks, hot to find exposed code on Google, how to hack hardware to play again, and how to break codes. Through these activities, promising students can be spotted and then even offered jobs to help fight cyber crime.
The government and authorities believe that it’s good to hire them at a young age because usually it’s at the prime of their youth where these kids get involved with trouble-making activities. If the kids are hired to do white hat activities, it means fewer kids out there who are wearing black hats as well. It sounds like a good idea, though the age bracket for DEFCON Kids seems a bit young too me. What do you think about a DEFCON event that’s meant for children?