Photos show the cultural difference between Black Hat and Defcon hacker events

Thousands of security professionals, hackers, federal agents and media descended on Las Vegas this week to attend the Black Hat and Defcon conferences. The two conferences exhibit the extremes of hacker and security culture, with federal agents and major corporations descending on Black Hat in large numbers and mohawk-styled hackers and Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers attending Defcon. It’s like the difference between law enforcement and pranksterism, where both have the object of protecting freedom.

You can hack a MacBook battery from afar. Is there a point?

A seasoned security hacker who spent seven months figuring out how to hack a laptop battery disclosed his findings today at the Black Hat security conference. Charlie Miller, who specializes in hacking Apple software, figured out how to remotely control a battery and do some damage to it such as “bricking it” – or incapacitating it – from afar.