Many Congress members, staffers and intelligence community members are meeting in Las Vegas to attend DefCon, a conference with hackers. Washington is currently embracing hackers after awareness of cyber-attacks has grown to an all-time high due to the 2016 election scandal. Lawmakers are now realizing the need to understand tech more, stated Phil Stupak, who is among the more prominent organizers of this AI Village. The DNC’s chairperson appeared in one deep-fake video, which was displayed here. These are videos that are made utilizing AI, making it seem like people are doing or saying things which they never actually did.
This deep-fake was created with the DNC’s cooperation for demonstrating the possibilities of this tech being misused for affecting candidates in the 2020 elections. Hackers are also pointing out various vulnerabilities in the EVMs used for polling. The election village here includes rooms filled with voting equipment. Hackers can experiment on these. Sen. Wyden stated that voting equipment shouldn’t be allowed Internet access since that would allow American polls to be influenced by Russian hackers via the Internet.
Chris Krebs from Homeland Security stated that paper ballots might be needed for ensuring the polls were being conducted in a fair manner in 2020.Many experts are suggesting that paper ballots be used since considerable concerns are being raised over EVM security in light of Russia’s interference efforts in 2016.Usually, hackers attend DefCon to poke and find out vulnerabilities in systems – something that would normally be considered to be against the law. While this edition is welcoming visitors with an open heart, many attendees are still skeptical of the government’s presence here.
DefCon is also where law enforcement agencies come to make arrests for reasons related to cyber-security. Marcus Hutchins was arrested from a DefCon meeting. While there is some tension, for now, organizers are looking to increase the number of officials attending the conference. This will be the first such large-scale gathering of government officials at a DefCon meet since 2013 when Jeff Moss requested them not to attend the meet due to the Snowden leaks.