DEFCON–The Badge that says it all…

DEFCON 24 is just around the corner, and I happened to be clearing out a lot of stuff from my office. I decided to sell my old DEFCON badges, and this blog is a colorful, well described, shameless plug to sell them.

Every year at DEFCON, people line up at seven am (in Vegas, in August, with hangovers and everything). Not just a few people line up, but thousands. They are waiting to get the DEFCON badge for that year.

It’s funny, most conferences you attend want all your pertinent data (How many people are in your company? Do you plan to buy new network routers this year? Are you part of the purchasing process?) But DEFCON doesn’t even want to know who you are. DEFCON badges are bought with cash only, and they don’t really give you a receipt.defcon 20

This is the badge from DEFCON 20. You will notice that it is a printed circuit board. These badges actually do stuff. Some of them have bluetooth, some have displays, some actually recognize other badges and communicate with them. There is a Hack the Badge contest. This badge is for sale on EBay, and you can view it here.

Only a limited number of people get the groovy printed circuit badge, and everyone else gets a dull one printed on paper. Each badge comes with a custom made lanyard, stickers and other stuff.

Every other year is not a printed circuit, but is something else cryptic in nature. Last year the badge was a vinyl 45 rpm record.

defcon 23

I own many records, thousands of them, but this is by far the most cryptic record I have ever seen. One side has a little girl’s voice reading a long number, and the other side has some audio stored data (sounds like your modem used to) everyone was walking around with this record hanging around their neck. This one is for sale here.

Some of the badges have flashing LED’s some require obscure watch batteries, and so on.  Here are some other examples, click on any of the photos to go to the associated EBay page.

defcon 17

defcon 19defcon 16


defcon 2213

DEFCON 22 and DEFCON 13, both with the custom lanyards attached.

defcon 18

DEFCON 18, note broken display.


What will this year’s badge look like? We will just have to wait and see…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s