LAS VEGAS, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of the world's best cybersecurity professionals gathered this weekend for the Def Con hackers conference here to brainstorm on latest software and information technologies and undertake various realtime contests.
Multiple members of the U.S. Congress, congressional staffers and members of the intelligence community also gathered in Las Vegas to attend the convention, which was held from Thursday to Sunday.
Many companies and government departments invited or awarded good hackers to break into their own systems and find weak spots to stop bad hackers.
Hackers also demonstrated potential vulnerabilities in voting machines used by Americans.
A total of 40 competitions of various kinds were staged at the conference for hackers, including spy contest, car hacking contest, secure code review challenge and password cracking contest.
The contests aim to educate the general public what is new and important in cybersecurity, and reveal attacks and defenses in the real world, said Alexandros Kapravelos, web security expert from the North Carolina State University and organizer of the conference's Capture the Flag contest.
"We hope to help everyone to be more prepared for future cyber risks and be more aware of cyber security," Kapravelos told Xinhua.
Founded in 1993 by Jeff Moss, Def Con is one of the world's largest and longest running hacker conferences.