This week thousands of hackers — computer security researchers, government recruiters, spooks and cyberpunks — descended on Las Vegas for the annual summer hacker convention.
Hosted by organizations called Black Hat and Defcon, these events are known for their elaborate, though often crude, computer pranks. The convention’s actual purpose, however, is pretty serious.
Stephen Ridley, an independent security consultant, says almost every aspect of our lives today is touched by computers and machines that speak in ones and zeroes, and most of us don’t understand how they work.
“I am of the mind that people who do have this knowledge are actively exploiting these things now,” he says.
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