Defcon drama: Undercover reporter bolts after outing

NBC reporter learns the hard way that a conference of underground hackers is not a good place to attempt going undercover with a hidden camera.

An NBC reporter learned the hard (and embarrassing) way that Defcon 15, a conference of underground hackerswho also happen to be security experts, is not the place to go undercover with a hidden camera.

George Ou, who blogs for CNET News.com's sister site ZDNet, has written a detailed account of the drama that unfolded Friday at the Las Vegas conference when staff members announced the "spot the undercover reporter" game. Staffers had apparently learned that a Dateline NBC producer hoping to catch someone confessing to a hacking crime was there as a regular attendee after refusing repeatedly to seek a press pass.

Just as Defcon officials were about to put her photo up on the conference projector, the reporter bolted and a crowd followed her out to her car, taking video and shouting out questions and statements. (Check out the YouTube video embedded in Ou's blog). Our favorite comment, by far: "You must feel like Lindsay Lohan."

And we thought Black Hat was exciting.

About the author

Michelle Meyers, associate editor, has been writing and editing CNET News stories since 2005. But she's still working to shed some of her old newspaper ways, first honed when copy was actually cut and pasted. When she's not fixing typos and tightening sentences, she's working with reporters on story ideas, tracking media happenings, or freshening up CNET News' home page.

 

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