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NBC's Michelle Madigan bolted out of the convention, embarassed and humiliated. Typically winners of the "Spot the Fed" game at DefCon stay for the duration of the convention.   (Source: Wired)
Hackers at DEFCON outsmart mole sent in to uncover information for Dateline NBC

Every year in Vegas, a conference consisting of industry leading computer and network hackers gather for an event called DEFCON. Usually, you can find -- or not -- undercover federal agents at the event. The agents attend DEFCON to gather information on the latest trends and techniques employed by hackers. The goal for the attendees is to exchange information on the latest security information and for the agents, to be prepared for new types of attacks.

DEFCON has strict rules on who attends and what they can and cannot do, bring and take from the event. Journalists are allowed to attend the event but must sign strict agreements. This year, Dateline NBC sent along producer Michelle Madigan to DEFCON as an undercover mole. Unfortunately for Madigan, DefCon staff members are highly suspicious people and she fell into a trap set up by the staff members.

Madigan signed up for the event as a regular attendee, thereby bypassing some of the rules imposed onto regular press members. A tipster notified DEFCON staff that the reporter was a mole sent in by NBC for the television series Dateline. On four separate occasions she declined press credentials.

Aware of the reporter, DEFCON staff monitored Madigan as she recorded events during the show with a hidden camera, against event policy.

In good nature, DEFCON usually holds a contest called "Spot the Fed", where attendees attempt to point out a real undercover federal agent. This time when Madigan was on the show floor, DEFCON staff lured Madigan into a room with other people and DEFCON founder Jeff Moss announced that the game would be changed from spotting a fed to spotting an undercover reporter.

"And there's one in here right now," announced Moss.

Realizing that she was caught, Madigan bolted from her seat and dashed out of the event. Following her was a mob of over 20 reporters, all with cameras snapping and all running after her for an interview. Madigan was chased outside of the building and into the parking lot, all the way to her car.

Madigan claimed that she was sent to try and uncover federal agents that attend the event.  According to ZDNET blogger George Ou, who attended the event, Madigan's real intentions during the show were to show middle-America "what's really going on at DEFCON."


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Few Comments
By deeznuts on 8/6/2007 8:15:08 PM , Rating: 1
First, she is not cute unless that is a horrible pic of her.

Second, I'm not a typo nazi, but her name is Madigan (spelled wrong several times).

Third, I don't think it was the Feds that tipped off the organziers, but someone at Dateline itself. I mean, it's only in the link provided in this very article.

quote:
DefCon security on Friday warned attendees at the annual hacker conference that Dateline NBC may have sent a mole with a hidden camera to the event to capture hackers admitting to crimes. DefCon says it was tipped off by their own mole at Dateline who sent them a pic of the undercover journalist who DefCon employees identified as producer Michelle Madigan.




RE: Few Comments
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 8/6/2007 8:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
There is an update to the Wired blog that disagrees with the initial posting at Wired:

quote:
According to DefCon staff, Madigan had told someone she wanted to out an undercover federal agent at DefCon. That person in turn warned DefCon about Madigan's plans ... DefCon staff say that Madigan was asked four times -- two times on the phone and two times at the conference -- if she wanted to obtain press credentials, but she declined.


We fixed the spelling though, thanks.


RE: Few Comments
By deeznuts on 8/6/2007 8:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, but isn't this statement still incorrect?

quote:
In an interesting twist, a federal undercover agent tipped DefCon staff that Madiga was a mole sent in by NBC.


Nothing on that page notes that it was a fed agent who tipped off DefCon. Also, in other stories they said they distributed pictures of her BEFORE the event, which would be hard unless she told someone of her plans before the event, and that person in turn notified DefCon.

Oh well, I've read so many different versions already might as well choose one and run with it.


RE: Few Comments
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 8/6/2007 8:37:02 PM , Rating: 3
Apparently she told more than one person her intentions. According to George Ou, she even notified staff what she was planning to do.


RE: Few Comments
By Scabies on 8/6/2007 9:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
Announcing/broadcasting sensitive information? why am I not suprised?


RE: Few Comments
By crystal clear on 8/7/2007 1:00:30 AM , Rating: 3
Now you can see her on vedeo !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCvmkxO5hoQ


RE: Few Comments
By crystal clear on 8/7/2007 12:20:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
First, she is not cute unless that is a horrible pic of her.


Then you can see more of her,
here-
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=41...


RE: Few Comments
By deeznuts on 8/7/2007 1:17:45 PM , Rating: 3
Confirmed. Not cute.

She'll look like Nancy Grace in a few years


RE: Few Comments
By crystal clear on 8/7/2007 8:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
ok & did you see below the picture,this-

"Picture © Charlie Demerjian 2007"

He got her in action with the taperecorder.

Strange how he managed to be at the right time & at the right place.


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