AWS Security Blog

Amazon sponsors r00tz at DEF CON 2018

It’s early August, and we’re quickly approaching Hacker summer camp (AKA DEF CON). The Black Hat Briefings start August 8, DEF CON starts August 9, and many people will be closely following the latest security presentations at both conferences. But there’s another, exclusive conference happening at DEF CON that Amazon is excited to be a part of: we’re sponsoring r00tz Asylum. r00tz is a conference dedicated to teaching kids ages 8-18 how to become white-hat hackers.

Kids who attend will learn how hackers break into computers and networks and how cybersecurity experts defend against hackers. They’ll get hands-on experience soldering and disassembling computers. They’ll learn about lock-picking and how to use 3D printers, and they’ll even get to compete in a security-oriented “Capture the Flag” event where competitors are rewarded for discovering secrets embedded in servers and encrypted files. And throughout the conference, they’ll hear talks from top-notch presenters on topics that include hacking web apps, hacking elections, and hacking conference badges covered in blinky LEDs.

Many of Amazon’s best security experts started young, with limited access to mentors. We learned how to keep hackers from breaking into computers and networks before cybersecurity became the industry it is today. Amazon’s support for r00tz is our chance to give back to the next generation of cyber-security professionals. Kids who are interested in learning about security will get a safe environment and access to mentors. If you’re in Las Vegas for DEF CON, head over to the r00tz FAQs to learn more about the event, and be sure to check out the conference schedule.