My first time attending BlackHat 2021 and DEFCON 29

I have been working in the cyber security industry for many years (and on computers much longer). I have attended and even spoken at numerous conferences but I have yet to attend the most infamous conferences held annually at Las Vegas, BlackHat USA and DEFCON. Each of these conferences are distinct from another and offer different experiences.

One of the main differences might be the price point as BlackHat USA tickets can cost thousands of dollars (BlackHat USA 2019 on-site tickets were $2,895). In addition to the upfront cost of attending the conference, there are a number of training sessions which take place in the days preceding the main conference (2-4 days) and can cost nearly double the price of a briefing pass (starting around $4,000). The cost alone sets this conference apart. DEFCON, on the other hand, costs $300 dollars to attend for all 4 days and there are no restrictions on what you are able to do. You can attend talks, participate in CTF’s (Capture the Flag), explore the difference villages, purchase merchandise, go to parties, or just hang out in one of the many lounging areas. The atmosphere

Author: Christian McLaughlin

Christian is an information security expert working as a security engineer, researcher and penetration tester. He served his country proudly as a sailor in the US Navy for 7 1/2 years before transitioning out into the private infosec field. When not working, he enjoys practicing music, playing video games, or just learning more about computers and technology.

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