DefCon, the long-running, annual hacker conference in Las Vegas, lowered its age restrictions this year for the inaugural “DefCon Kids Village.”
Roughly 60 young hacker-wannabes aged eight to 16 were mentored in the arts of “white hat” hacking, or hacking in a responsible manner, this past weekend. They listened to talks by Black Hat and DefCon founder Jeff Moss, a.k.a. “The Dark Tangent,” Steven Levy, a writer for Wired, and Johnny Long, best known for using Google Search to discover security loopholes. The kids were taught how to open Master locks, Google hacking, social engineering, coding in Scratch, and more.
CyFi, a ten-year-old Girl Scout and DefCon Kids co-founder from California, presented her findings on an exploit in an unnamed social game. She began tinkering with the code after growing impatient with the game’s slow place, and discovered that by disconnecting her phone from Wi-Fi and re-setting the clock forward in small increments, she could fast-forward many of the actions in the game, “a new class of vulnerabilities” she dubbed “TimeTraveler.”
Today’s 10 year olds are > yesterday’s hackers.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.