Chico hacking convention highlights jobs in computer security


CHICO, Calif. - Organizers predict that the second annual Norcon Hacking convention on Saturday will see more attendees than the 150 that showed up at last year's inaugural convention.

There will be 14 speakers led by event organizer William Caput, who once worked for dozens of Fortune 500 companies to find security weaknesses in their computer systems. He says the field is a growing profession.

"There's a ton of jobs, but not enough people to fill them," said Caput.

Critics say conventions like this teach people how to rob a bank. But Caput says it also teaches the bank how not to be robbed.

"We find security flaws and then provide that information to those companies," he said.

The convention will also show ordinary computer users how simple it is to hack into a computer by knowing an individual's personal information.

Caput estimates that a good hacker has a success rate of 75 percent.

The convention is Saturday at Idea Fab Labs at 603 Orange Street in Chico. It begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m.

The entry fee is $25.

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