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Hackers place bets in Vegas

High-stakes hackers opened their convention in the gambling capital of the world.

No strangers to high-stakes gambling, self-proclaimed hackers have picked an appropriate venue for their fourth annual convention--Las Vegas--where they are betting once again that they won't get caught as the event begins today.

Organizers of "Defcon 4" have in the past invited speakers such as Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP encryption software and have conducted dialogues on the ethics of hacking, among other topics. Other events have included a contest to write a fully functional computer virus that delivers a politically satirical punchline.

This year, the conference will feature an official appearance by an agent for the FBI Computer Crime Division. Each year, FBI and other law enforcement types unofficially attend the event in hopes of nabbing suspected criminals. In response, conference attendees play a game called "Spot the Fed," with a prize going to the first one to correctly identify an agent (who reports beforehand to conference organizers.)