DEF CON 28 announced their in-person event that was scheduled to take place August 6-9, 2020, has been cancelled. Black Hat also announced that it has cancelled its in-person event, which would have taken place August 1-6, 2020. This is likely not a surprise to most people, considering the number of events that have either cancelled, or postponed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DEF CON will be holding a virtual event called DEF CON 28 Safe Mode. It will take place August 7-9 (Friday through Sunday) with 101 orientation Thursday. The entire event will be done remotely. Their FAQ states that they aren’t sure yet if there will be a virtual talk track, or virtual tracks for demo labs, workshops, or training. There will be swag – in the form of t-shirts that say “DEF CON is canceled.”
DEF CON has scheduled DEF CON 29 for August 5-8, 2021. I suppose it is possible that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be an issue by then, but there’s no way to know that for certain.
Black Hat says they are “inspired to adapt Black Hat USA in a virtual format that will be available to our entire global community”. Their team is working to deliver the same level of high-quality Briefings, Trainings and Business Hall programs that Black Hat attendees have come to to expect every year.
Those who want to know more should check the Black Hat website, where updates will be posted.
Personally, I think the COVID-19 pandemic is going to force more and more in-person events to turn into virtual ones. Nobody wants to be the company or organization who makes the news because people who attended their event got sick from the virus. There have been many events, conferences, concerts, and local large gatherings that have either been cancelled, postponed, or gone virtual. Things are going to be like this for a while.