A Day at the Miami Beach Cyberarms Fair

Spies sip mojitos with weapons makers. No name tags, please
A hacker (in white and in an uncomfortable position) spars with a Brazilian jiujitsu black belt on the eve of the Infiltrate conference Photograph by Eva O'Leary and Harry Griffin for Bloomberg Businessweek

Thomas Lim, the founder of a boutique company that sells cybermunitions and hacking tools to governments and corporations around the world, has mischievous taste in T-shirts. The one he’s got on, as he sits in the Art Deco-style bar of Miami Beach’s famed Fontainebleau Hotel, says he’s a reservist for Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army, a notorious group of Chinese computer spies. It’s an inside joke aimed at the 160 hackers, spooks, and mercenaries attending Infiltrate, an annual security conference that draws a more elite crowd than the larger industry confabs.

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