While Def Con packs more events, workshops, and contests than the storage space of a ZIP drive, one of the longest lasting traditions revolves around the mysteries of the conference badge, itself.
This year, Def Con celebrates its 21st birthday with a card-themed cryptographic challenge based on the standard playing card deck -- except this is no ordinary card deck.
Attendees of Def Con 21 are all given custom badges, which are actually elegantly fabricated PCB boards complete with delicately carved copper contact points, mathematical constants, binary numbers, Chinese characters, and more.
In an improved and renewed focus on social engineering, Ryan "LostboY/lo57" Clarke provided additional details about the origins of this year's badge design, as well as the decision to revert back to a non-electronic badge for Def Con 21. Hackers are encouraged to mingle and network by comparing each other's badges and working together to make sense of the various clues embedded in each board.
I'm sure after a couple more drinks, late night music concerts, and sleepless coding sessions, the answers will come in due time.