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DEF CON Announcements!

12/15/2017 DEF CON 26 Homework Assignments Roll On!
Children of men image

We've given you a lot of reading so far, so here's an assignment that can be completed in under two hours - The 2006 Alfonso Cuarón film 'Children of Men'.

The movie fits the theme of 1983 by being a thoughtful and moving study of hope and resistance in the face of calamity and misrule. It also features a bunch of stellar performances and some crazy precision camera work (keep your eyes peeled for the long, unbroken takes).

'Children of Men' fits our theme in other ways, too - the set design could hardly be more in line with our DC26 style guide. Concrete skies, graffiti, neglected brutalist edifices everywhere - it's probably as close to a match as you're going to find so feel free to take inspiration from it.

Watch this space for more assignments!

12/08/2017 DEF CON in the News!
Voting Village at Univeristy of Chicago image

The DEF CON Voting Village co-hosted an event with the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy to highlight cyber vulnerabilities in our elections infrastructure. At the event, Noah Praetz, Director of Elections with the Cook County, IL Clerk's office issued "2020 Vision" a plan that details ways federal, state, and local government can work together to improve the security posture of U.S. voting infrastructure.

You can read the plan here: Security White Paper_Praetz_12062017.pdf

12/06/2017 DEF CON in the News!
Matt blaze testimony image

Here's the full video of a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Information Technology regarding the Cybersecurity of Voting Machines. One of the testifiers was Matt Blaze, security superhero and DEF CON Voting Village organizer. It's a good read for anyone who wants to be thoroughly grounded on the state of election security and the plan for moving forward.

"The results of the Voting Village were summarized in detail in a report. It is notable that participants, who did not have any previous special expertise in voting machines or access to any proprietary information or source code, were very quickly able to find ways to compromise every piece of equipment in the Village by the end of the weekend. Depending on the individual model of machine, participants found ways to load malicious software, gain access to administrator passwords, compromise recorded votes and audit logs, or cause equipment to fail. In most cases, these attacks could be carried out from the ordinary interfaces that are exposed to voters and precinct poll workers. The first machine was compromised by a participant within 90 minutes of the doors opening."

You can read the full report from the Voting Village.

And a transcript of Matt's remarks

12/01/2017 DEF CON 26: The Homework Continues!
Stephenson Cryptonomicon image

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

In the spirit of the counterfuture, we offer book two in our pre-con homework series: ‘Cryptonomicon’ by Neal Stephenson. It’s a bit of an epic, so you’ll want to pencil in some real reading time. The story concerns two historical inflection points, WWlI and the eve of the 21st century. In both eras, Crypto and savvy are all that protect us from a spreading and despotic darkness. In both, hackers (of various kinds)are the carriers of the counterfuture.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more assignments.

12/01/2017 DEF CON 26 Call for CTF Organizers Reminder!
DEF CON 26 Call for CTF Organizers image

Friendly reminder to all of you Capture the Flag rock stars - there’s still time to put your stamp on the Super Bowl of CTFs at DEF CON 26!

We’re looking for a team with big ideas and the skills to execute under pressure. A team that wants to push the limits and create challenges that people talk about for years.

If that’s you, read the requirements at and get in touch. We look forward to seeing what you’ve got.

11/30/2017 DEF CON 26: The Homework Begins!
Doctorow Little Brother image

In keeping with the DC tradition of releasing a list of books, movies and other cultural products to help you get into the headspace of our theme, we offer the first suggested reading assignment: 'Little Brother' by digital-age soothsayer and frequent DEF CON speaker Cory Doctorow.

Don't let the YA trappings trip you up - the book contains a toothsome examination and critique of the dangers of the police state and the role that hackers, makers and like-minded troublemakers can play in turning the tide.

It's also fun. Share your thoughts with us in the comments and stay tuned to this space for your next assignment.

11/23/2017 Happy Thanksgiving from DEF CON!
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11/22/2017 DEF CON 26 Theme Announcement!
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The time has come to announce the theme for DEF CON 26 - It's '1983'. Think of it as T Minus One in the countdown to 1984.
We can't wait to see how you use it.

More details here.

11/16/2017 DEF CON in the News: Confessions of a First Time Speaker
DEF CON 25 Jim nitterauer talk image

For your Thursday enjoyment, we have a fun look into the experience of a first time speaker at DEF CON 25 this year. The take away? You won’t talk at DEF CON if you don’t pony up and submit! Spoiler Alert: Persist!

You can view the author, Jim Nitterauer’s talk regarding DNS Privacy on our YouTube channel:
DEF CON 25 - Jim Nitterauer - DNS: Devious Name Services Destroying Privacy & Anonymity w/o consent

As always, enjoy and pass it on!

11/16/2017 Packet Hacking Village Videos Have Hit YouTube!
DEF CON 25 Packet Hacking Village talks image

Our mission to monopolize your spare mind-cycles continues with 22 talks from this year’s very popular Packet Hacking Village. It’s a lot, we know, but we have faith in you. Enjoy, learn a lot of fun new network shenanigans and make sure to share what you learn.

11/02/2017 Live now on YouTube, Main Speaking Track Talks from DEF CON 25!
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Maybe don’t make a lot of weekend plans. For this Throwback Thursday is we have a playlist of 53 main track talks from DEF CON 25. No matter your interests, you’re definitely going to run out of weekend before you run out of talks to watch. (This math does make some assumptions about sleep and general life maintenance - be safe out there). Go ahead and bask in that monitor glow, get yourself some knowledge and don’t forget to pass it on.

11/01/2017 More Assorted Talks from DEF CON 25!
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Another set of talks in the AFK vein for your edification. Hacking wind farms, the DEF CON 101 panel, hacking the human genome - it’s a nice assortment of subjects. A bouquet, if you will.

HighWiz, Malware Unicorn, Niki7a, Roamer, Wiseacre, Shaggy - DEF CON 101 Panel

Inbar Raz, Eden Schochat - From One Country, One Floppy to Startup Nation

Jason Hernandez, Sam Richards, Jerod MacDonald-Evoy Tracking Spies in the Skies

John Sotos - Genetic Diseases to Guide Digital Hacks of the Human Genome

Matt Wixey - See no evil, hear no evil: Hacking invisibly & silently with light & sound

Octane - Untrustworthy Hardware and How to Fix It

Snide Owen - Phone system testing and other fun tricks

Whitney Merrill, Terrell McSweeny - Tick, Tick, Tick Boom You're Dead: Tech & the FTC

Jason Staggs - Breaking Wind: Adventures Hacking Wind Farm Control Networks

Enjoy, embiggen, and pass it on.

11/01/2017 BioHacking Village Talks are Live on YouTube!
DEF CON 25 Biohacking village image

More videos for your edification and enlightenment from the DEF CON 25 BioHacking Village. If you’ve spent any time with the BHV, you know the kind of cutting edge information they bring to the conference. If you haven’t, there’s no better time than right now. Biotech is moving fast and the singularity waits for no one.

As ever, pass it on.

10/26/2017 Caesars Room Block expanded for DEF CON 26!
DEF CON 26 Caesars room block expanded image

Good news, everyone! We’ve managed to get a bunch more rooms at Caesars Palace into our special rate block. If you’re planning to attend DEF CON 26 and want some of those sweet, sweet onsite lodgings at a substantial discount, the time for action is upon you.

To register at Caesars with our room rate, use the link

This link will also get you the discount at several nearby affiliated hotels. While supplies last.

10/26/2017 Recon Village Video from DEF CON 25!
DEF CON 25 Recon Village Playlist image

Today’s video release is 15 presentations from a new village on the block - Recon Village. Something for anyone interested in any flavor of Open Source Intelligence, Threat Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Red Teaming.

Tyler Rorabaugh - DFIR Automation Orchestration Tools For OSINT Recon

Tracy Maleeff - Into the Bird's Nest: A Comprehensive Look at Twitter

Winner Announcement Prize Distribution

Simon Roses - OSINT Tactics on Source Code and Developers

Shane MacDougal - Keynote: Seeing is Believing The Future of Recon

Mikhail Sasonkin - Up Close and Personal: Keeping an Eye On Mobile

Leah Figueroa - FERPA: Only Grades Are Safe; OSINT In Higher Education

Kunal Aggarwal - DataSploit Open Source Assistant for OSINT

Jason Haddix - Domain Discovery:Expanding Your Scope Like A Boss

Inbar Raz - Do Tinder Bots Dream of Electric Toys

Guillermo Buendia, Yael Esquivel - How To Obtain 100 Facebooks a Day

Dakota Nelson -Total Recoll

Anthony Russell - Building Google For Criminal Enterprises

Andrew Hay - An Introduction to Graph Theory for OSINT

Abhijeth Dugginapeddi - Recon and Bug Bounties What A Great Love Story

Take one down and pass ‘em around. Sharing is caring.

10/24/2017 Live on YouTube, Car Hacking Village Video from DEF CON 25!
DEF CON 25 Car Hacking Village Playlist image

Let’s start the video release week off strong with ten talks from the DEF CON 25 Car Hacking Village! AUTOSAR, GPS Integrity, SDR Relay Attacks - there’s a lot to keep your brain occupied in here. Also, as a bonus, there’s also an auto-hacking related talk from the main track on low-budget auto hacking.

Mickey Shkatov, Jesse Michael, Oleksandr Bazhaniuk - Driving down the rabbit hole

Weston Hecker - Grand Theft Radio Stopping SDR Relay Attacks

Vlad Gostomelsky - GPS System Integrity

Tim b1tbane, Mitch Johnson, ehntoo - That's No Car Its a Network

Sheila Ayelen Berta, Claudio Caracciolo - The Bicho

Sameer Dixit, Vlad Gostomelsky - Abusing Smart Cars with QR Codes

Montalbano, Gillispie, Connett - Attacking Wireless Interfaces

Jeffrey Quesnelle - An Introduction to AUTOSAR Secure Onboard

Woodbury, Haltmeyer - Linux Stack Based V2X Framework

Badge Life: DEFCON Unofficial Badges Panel

Corey Theun - Heavy Truck and Electronic Logging Devices

Enjoy, and remember to pass ‘em on. More shortly.

10/24/2017 Assorted Video Tales from DEF CON 25!
DEF CON 25 Asssorted Tales Playlist image

Today’s DEF CON 25 video releases are a variety of novel presentations that take us away from the keyboard and workstation and into the wider world.

Kevin Sacco - Tales of A Healthcare Hacker

Rhett Greenhagen - Skip Tracing For Fun and Profit

J0n J4rv1s - Surveillance Capitalism Will Continue til Morale Improves

Gus Fritschie, Evan Teitelman - Backdooring the Lottery and Other Security Tales

Svea Eckert, Andreas Dewes - Dark Data

Chris Sumner - Rage Against the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine

Ryan Lackey - Cypherpunks History

Yan Shoshitaishvili - 25 Years of Program Analysis

Manfred - Twenty Years of MMORPG Hacking: Better Graphics, Same Exploits

Pass it on, and watch this space.

10/20/2017 Wifi Village Talks are Live on YouTube!
DEF CON 25 Wifi Village Playlist image

The DEF CON 25 video release train rolls on today with 11 talks from the Wifi Village. From suitcase repeater builds to replace attacks on home security networks, there’s something there for everyone.

Woody, Tim Kuester - GODUMPiNG packet sniffing the Gotenna

Vivek Ramachandran, Nishant Sharma, Ashish Bhangale- Deceptacon

Robert Ghilduta - Designing An Automatic Gain Control

Nick Delewski - Failsafe: Yet Another SimpliSafe Attack Vector

Matt Blaze - Sigint for the rest of us

Eric Escobar - SecureWorks: SDR Replay Attacks On Home Security Systems

Balint Seeber - Hacking Some More of the Wireless World

Andrew Strutt - Suitcase Repeater Build for UHF 70cm

Andrew Strutt - POCSAG Amateur Pager Network

Alexander Zakarov - Large Scale Wireless Monitoring: KISMET Packet Sniffer

Aardvark, Darkmatter - WIGLE Like You Mean It Maximizing Your Wardriving

Enjoy, share and stay tuned!

10/19/2017 The Voting Machine Hacking village talks from DEF CON 25 are on YouTube!
DEF CON 25 Voting Village Playlist image

Hackers owning all the machines at the DEF CON 25 Voting Machine Hacking Village has gotten a lot of press, but the Village also had a roster of talks on the subject from experts like Matt Blaze and Gen. Douglas Lute. The need to reconsider the security of election systems is one of the biggest ideas to come out of DC25, and this playlist is a good way to get yourself up to speed on the state of ballot security.

Jake Braun - Securing the Election Office: A Local Response

Joseph Hall, David Jefferson - Common Misconceptions and False Parallels

Matt Blaze - How did we get here? A history of Voting Technology

Mary Brady, Josh Franklin - The State of US Voting System Security

Joseph Hall - Election Hacking: Legal Considerations from the Civil Side

Harri Hursti - Brief history of election machine hacking

General Douglas Lute - National Security Implications of Voting Attacks

Barbara Simons, David Jefferson - Election Systems: More Than the Booth

As always, pass it on. Share the knowledge.

More on the way.

10/18/2017 DEF CON 25 Social Engineer Village Talks on YouTube!
DEF CON 25 SEV Village Playlist image

The wise hacker never underestimates the human factor - unlike machines and code humans are eager to be fooled and notoriously difficult to patch. To help expand your horizons in this crucial skillset we present a bunch of talks from the DEF CON 25 Social Engineering Village.

Yaiza Rubio, Félix Brezo - Heavy Diving For Credentials

Tyler Rosonke - Social Engineering With Web Analytics

Robert Wood - Thematic Social Engineering

Jayson E. Street - Strategies on Securing Your Banks and Enterprises

Helen Thackray - Hackers Gonna Hack , But Do They Know Why?

Fahey Owens - Beyond Phishing – Building & Sustaining a Corporate SE Program

Chris Hadnagy - SE vs Predator: Using SE In Ways I Never Thought

Brent White, Tim Roberts - Skills For A Red Teamer

Billy Boatright - Nor Lose The Common Touch

Michele Fincher - Are You Killing Your Security Program?

Keith Conway, Cameron Craig - Change Agents How to Effect Change in Corporate Culture

John Nye - The Human Factor Why Are We So Bad at Security

As always, take some knowledge, share some knowledge.

Many more videos on the way.

10/17/2017 ICS Village Talks from DEF CON 25 on YouTube!
DEF CON 25 ICS Village Playlist image

Today’s DEF CON 25 videos come from the Industrial Controls Systems (ICS) Village, where we learn about the security challenges confronting the nervous system of modern life.

For the low, low price of time and attention you get:

Thomas Brandsetter - InSecurity in Building Automation

Joe Weiss - Cyber Security Issues with Level 0 through 1 Devices

Chris Sistrunk - What's the DFIRence for ICS

Bryson Bort, Atlas - Grid Insecurity and How to Really Fix This Shit

Blake Johnson Dissecting Industrial Wireless Implementations

Arnaud Soullié - Fun with Modbus 0x5a Nothing New Still Relevant?

Settle yourself in and get hip to the ICS news. Be the hit of every cocktail party with all your new ideas about DFIR and Modbus!

Pass it on and stay tuned for more.

10/13/2017 DEF CON 25 Privacy Talks on YouTube!
DEF CON 25 Privacy Playlist image

Another batch of DEF CON 25 talks for your weekend perusal, this time focused on Privacy and pulled from the main speaking track at DEF CON. For those you who can’t get enough presentations on this subject, rest assured that the presentations from the DEF CON 25 Crypto and Privacy Village will follow next week.

The menu:

Cooper Quintin and Kashmir Hill - The Internet Already Knows I’m Pregnant

Jim Nitterauer - DNS: Devious Name Services Destroying Privacy & Anonymity w/o consent

Peyton Engel - Learning about Government Surveillance Software

Roger Dingledine - Next Generation Tor Onion Services

Richard Thieme - When Privacy Goes Poof! Why It's Gone and Never Coming Back

Tess Schrodinger - Total Recall Implanting Passwords in Cognitive Memory

Weston Hecker - Opt Out or Deauth Trying! AntiTracking Bots & Keystroke Injection

Block out some time, get yourself some hot cocoa and enjoy. As always, spread the love and share the content.

More to come. Stay tuned.

10/12/2017 IoT Talk Videos from DEF CON 25!
DEF CON 25 IoT Playlist image

Hacktober begins. The unleashing of the videos from DEF CON 25 has been initiated.

Today, we have a themed playlist of 15 IoT-centered videos, from the main tracks and the IoT Village alike. Prepare to have your commitment to workplace productivity tested. Enjoy them, be mentally embiggened by them, and share them widely before the DVR botnets swamp us all.

Watch this space for more playlists. It’s all happening.

Happy Hacktober to all.

10/12/2017 C-SPAN coverage of Voting Machine Security Forum
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Here's the C-SPAN coverage from the aformentioned Atlantic Council event, enjoy!

10/10/2017 DEF CON 25 Voting Machine Hacking Village Report Released!
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Today at a Washington DC event hosted by the Atlantic Council, the long-awaited DEF CON 25 Voting Village Report was released. You can even watch the presentation live on CSPAN 2 - The Dark Tangent is headlining the event!

During the weekend of DEF CON 25, every single device in the Voting Village was compromised. The report we’re releasing today gives a glimpse into how much we were able to discover in only a few days. Any committed threat actor would devote vastly more time and resources, and we believe that democratic governments must treat the security of election systems with the same rigor and investment as they do their borders.

We entered into this experiment as a non-partisan public service, believing that discussion about solutions has to start with a realistic assessment of what needs fixing. The DEF CON community has a lot of talent in that kind of work, and we saw a way we could contribute.

We would like to thank everyone who joined us in the Voting Village to test the machines, everyone who collaborated on the report, the Atlantic Council for helping us share the results and the Library of Congress for granting an easement of the DMCA provisions that would have blocked this research. This project is a great example of government making room for independent researchers to bring their talents to an issue that matters to all of us. Here’s hoping there will be more success stories like this one.

10/07/2017 LegitBS Blog on Running CTF for DEF CON!
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Vito from the Legitimate Business Syndicate has started blogging about the experience of running the past five (stellar) DEF CON CTF Contests.

Recommended read for anyone interested in CTF, especially anyone considering responding to our call for CTF Organizers. LBS is top-shelf, and if you’re going to learn, they’re the kind of teachers you want.

10/03/2017 DEF CON Capture the Flag Call for Organizers!
DEF CON 25 Capture the Flag call image

After five years of exemplary stewardship of the DEF CON CTF, the shadowy masterminds of the Legitimate Business Syndicate are ready to retire to the shore house. However, whenever life closes a door, hackers jimmy open a window. LegitBS will be missed, but for someone out there a giant opportunity has just opened up.

We know some of you have genius ideas for making your own mark on the world’s premiere CTF competition, we want your proposal. In return for your fresh blood and fanatical devotion, we offer eternal geek glory and a place in the pantheon next to LegitBS, DDTEK, Kenshoto and the all theheroes who have made this contest their own.

There’s a lot you’ll need to know to submit, and you can read all about it on our CTFCFO page.

For inspiration, check out this Mega-panel of previous CTF organizers from DEF CONs past, courtesy of DEF CON 25.

If you’re ready to graduate from the combat arena to the control room, get your ideas together and let’s make some magic. Valhalla awaits.

09/27/2017 DEF CON in the news: High Sierra edition
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Frequent DEF CON speaker and OSX security guru Patrick Wardle drops some 0day on the eve of Apple’s macOS rollout. 0day with plaintext password exfiltration.

A little more of Patrick’s excellent work from DEF CON 25 - his presentation on OSX Fruitfly.

09/21/2017 DEF CON 25 News Roundup: Voting Machines Edition
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The #votingvillage we introduced at DEF CON 25 is still in the News - mainly because it’s being cited as one of the driving forces behind a growing shift in attitudes about the security of ballot machines.

In Virginia, the State Board of Elections voted to decertify it’s touchscreen voting machines in time for the November gubernatorial election, and one of the reasons given was the discoveries at DEF CON. We’re hoping for increased focus on security and accountability in our voting systems, and we are pleased to see the subject getting broader attention.

There’s also a very informative episode about DEF CON by the fine people who do all the ‘How Stuff Works’ podcasts. The first half is devoted to a thorough explanation of DC history and the second half is an interview with the wonderful Shannon Morse (@Snubs) about her experiences there as a human and in her professional capacities as a vendor and journalist. It’s from their TechStuff series and it’s worth a listen, especially if you’re new to the community.

09/05/2017 The DEF CON 25 Soundtrack Raises Funds for the EFF!
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In case you didn't know, the DEF CON 25 Soundtrack is available on Bandcamp as a 'pay-what-you-want' item. All proceeds go directly to keep the exemplary humans at the EFF fighting for the users. So for a modest donation you get dope music from DC25 performers and that warm feeling that only comes from selfless do-goodery.

The DEF CON A&E Team also auctioned off an artist badge for $321. Add that to the current Bandcamp sales of $423.37 and our donation match and you get a current payout to EFF of $1506.

"But the EFF does so much!" you say. "Surely I can still contribute to push that number higher?"

To which we respond, "Yes. Yes you can."

Click that link. Get some tunes. Relive the sounds of DEF CON 25 and toss a little change in the bucket to help the EFF keep cyberspace free.

Do it today, and then make sure to pass it on.

09/02/2017 Early Release Video: Patrick Wardle's "Offensive Malware Analysis"
DEF CON 25 Wardle image

Ease into your weekend with another DEF CON 25 early release video! This time it's Patrick Wardle's presentation "Offensive Malware Analysis: Dissecting OSX FruitFly via a Custom C&C Server". It's a quick talk, but there's lots to chew on here.

As always, enjoy and pass it on.

09/01/2017 Cyber Grand Challenge Analysis from DEF CON 24
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Take a deep dive into the DEF CON 24 Cyber Grand Challenge with this video from DARPAtv, because what's cooler than autonomous supercomputers battling for supremacy? Clear a little time (it's a bit over 2 hours of analysis) and get yourself educated.

08/28/2017 Early Release Video - DC to DEF CON
DEF CON 25 DC to DEF CON image

Now we take you way back to July 2017 for a leisurely Q&A with two impressively clued-in congresspeople; Rep. James Langevin from Rhode Island and Rep. Will Hurd from Texas.

Ever wondered if there was such thing as a “hacker-friendly” member of Congress? We found some and convinced them to come to DEF CON so you can meet them too! In this first-of-its-kind DEF CON session, two of the most hacker-friendly Congress critters will join DEF CON for an engaging and interactive session with the security research community.

Join the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative for a candid discussion with Representatives Will Hurd (R-TX) and James Langevin (D-RI). The two Congressmen share their thoughts on the latest developments in cybersecurity policymaking on the Hill, exchange ideas, and maybe even answer some of the Congressmen’s questions.

As always, enjoy and pass it on.

08/22/2017 DEF CON 25 Link Roundup!
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Check out a few of the wrap ups and reviews From DEF CON 25!

DEF CON 25 Social engineer Village Wrap Up

Packet hacking Village Presentation Slides

Hacker Warehouse coverage of the DEF CON 25 Voting machine hacking Village

08/16/2017 Early Release Videos: Plore - Popping a Smart Gun, & Max Bazaliy - Jailbreaking Apple Watch

DEF CON 25 Plore talk image

DEF CON 25 Bazaliy talk image

Another couple of DEF CON 25 early release videos to brighten up your midweek, in which Plore shows you how 15 bucks and some hacker ingenuity can turn a fancy smart gun back into a regular old dumb gun.

We also have Max Bazaliy's brief but info-dense presentation about the Apple Watch. Max walks through the Watch's vulnerabilities and methods of exploitation and closes with a demo of a jailbreak.

As always, enjoy and pass it on.