The Un-Convention: When Hackers Attack, Resistance Is Futile


Forget August’s approaching elephants. The real giants are in midtown next week for the hackers’ ball, a two-day warm-up of resistance and intrigue in the weirdly gigantic Pennsylvania Hotel. Keynote speakers include Apple’s Steve “Woz” Wozniak, the original phone-freaker; Kevin Mitnick, convicted celebrity hacker; and Jello Biafra, originally Eric Boucher, of Boulder, Colorado. “The Fifth Hope,” thrown by the folks at 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, features workshops that are lightly naughty (“Mischief and Mayhem at the RNC”) and potentially felonious (“Lockpicking,” described as “a popular sport/hobby among hackers throughout the world”). Emmanuel Goldstein (a/k/a Eric Corley), the editor of 2600, has thrown five of these conferences since 1994, and says they celebrate the “spirit of figuring things out.” He adds that the gatherings draw feds, teenagers, and corporate spies. And readers of his magazine:

“Dear 2600: As a member of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and a faithful reader of your fine publication . . . I would not expect the DHS to secretly set up shop in your neighborhood anytime soon. Chances are they would just utilize what is already in place.” —ZeroSpam

“Dear 2600: I went to the Buffalo meeting this month that’s supposed to be at the Food Court over at the Galleria Mall (which is actually in Cheektowaga). Nobody was there . . . —Kaosaur