DEFCON - Modding Stuff

DEFCON To Host IoT Hacking Village

Attendees at DEFCON
Attendees at DEFCON work at mod’ing hardware in the hardware village. This year’s show will feature an IoT Village, as well.

The Internet of Things has arrived – at least insofar as the hacker underground is concerned. The IoT is getting its own Village at DefCon.

Sure, it’s been easy enough to see for a while that hacking “stuff” was what all the cool kids were doing, whether you were talking about Barnaby Jack’s “Jackpotting ATMs” presentation or the research on telematics systems by folks like Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. But the creation of a dedicated “IoT Village” at the show, alongside staples like the Lockpick Village, the Wireless Village and the Packet Hacking Village (aka “The Wall of Sheep”) establishes Internet of Things hacking as a major new “vertical” within the diverse and fast-evolving hacking subculture.

[Read more Security Ledger coverage of hacking the Internet of Things.]


Villages are dedicated areas of the DEFCON conference where attendees can converge to view demonstrations and take part in hands on lessons focused on a narrow set of security issues or skills. The Lock Pick Village, for example, is one of the longest running DEFCON villages and provides attendees with a chance to try their hand at picking a variety of dead bolt keyed locks using lock picking tools.

The call for papers for IoT Village is under way.
The call for papers for IoT Village is under way.

The IoT Village will offer workshops that focus on a range of issues related to connected devices, from exposing security holes in IP enabled embedded systems like routers, IP cameras, HVAC systems and medical devices to discussions of best practices for deploying and managing IoT devices.

The IoT Village is being organized by the firm Independent Security Evaluators (ISE), which says that the goal is to develop “thought leadership advocating for security advancements in Internet of Things devices.”

Recent years have seen the introduction of villages that brush up against the IoT space, including an embedded system village and an ICS (industrial control system) village. It is unclear whether those will continue to run independently, or whether they might be folded into a larger IoT Village.

The call for papers for IoT Village at DEFCON is officially underway. Check it out here and volunteer to take part at this year’s show!

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