`Captain Crunch, Pick Up The White Courtesy Phone'

Hands down, it's the unlikeliest computer conference around. It's called Def Con, and it's quickly turning into the annual meeting of the Computer Underground. For the second sultry July in a row, assorted hackers, crackers, and phone phreaks are flocking to Vegas to discuss how to infiltrate computer systems, among other topics. In hot pursuit are various attorneys, computer company security officials, and law enforcement officers. "Toto, I don't think we're at Comdex anymore," says Code Ripper, taking a dig at the computer industry's legitimate fall convention. Code Ripper, a hacker and occasional columnist for Gray Areas magazine, is a pseudonym.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.