DEF CON bans social engineering expert Chris Hadnagy


The DEF CON cybersecurity convention banned a previous speaker and event organizer from the show for misconduct.

DEF CON organizers announced on Thursday that Christopher Hadnagy had been banned from attending any foreseeable future DEF CON gatherings. Hadnagy experienced spoken at the yearly convention several situations and was the head of the event’s Social Engineering Village, a specialized space of the Las Vegas conference that targeted on social engineering threats.

“We obtained a number of CoC violation reviews about a DEF CON Village leader, Chris Hadnagy of the SE Village,” organizers said in a write-up on the conference’s transparency report. “Right after discussions with the reporting events and Chris, we are confident the severity of the transgressions merits a ban from DEF CON.”

In addition to his perform with DEF CON, Hadnagy established Social-Engineer, LLC, a consultancy centered on user education and security awareness teaching. He also authored a number of books on social engineering threats and is an adjunct professor with the University of Arizona’s Cyber Operations plan.

It’s unclear what allegations have been built versus Hadnagy or what form of misconduct he allegedly fully commited. Neither Hadnagy nor DefCon founder Jeff Moss could be attained to supply any further more comment on the make any difference. 

In addition to banning Hadnagy from the occasion, DefCon organizers explained they would be disbanding the DCG414 group just after its customers were being identified to have violated convention code of conduct principles.

Customers of the team had been linked with, among other factors, setting up inappropriate convention badges and harassment.

“Code of Conduct violations by the group’s most important Level of Contact and subsequent mishandling of the occasion still left us without having confidence in the group’s leadership,” DEF CON organizers mentioned.

The bans appear amidst attempts by a number of stability conferences to crack down on harassment, misconduct, and normal bad behavior by attendees and staffers. In 2019, the organizers of the DerbyCon convention opted to shut down the accumulating soon after a number of allegations of misconduct by attendees.

News of the ban produced a calculated response from people in the infosec neighborhood. Infosec professional Alyssa Miller informed SearchSecurity that she had mixed feelings about the news.

“The transparency is great as perfectly for the reason that it gets rid of considerably of the aura of distrust and skepticism that has surrounded problems about cases like this in the past,” explained Miller, who also sits on the board of the BlueTeamCon and CircleCityCon safety conferences.

“On the flip facet, it is sad to see individuals that had been reliable as leaders in our stability neighborhood go on to be associated as bad actors in these conditions. These are folks that other folks depend on, who have situation that presents them a specified electricity dynamic in the market.”