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The next session of the PasswordsCon symposium is in doubt

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February 2, 2017

As a result of the Trump administration's controversial travel ban, we just learned today that the next session of the well-known PasswordsCon symposium is in serious doubt.

The conference founder and manager Peter Thorsheim is a Norwegian citizen who would face no issues in visiting Las Vegas to run the conference in July of this year.

But, in his words: "I've decided not to go this year due to what is happening in the United States right now" as an explanation of his decision.

He added: "As a Norwegian, I can pretty much go anywhere in the world without fear based on my country of origin. It troubles me deeply that refugees from troubled countries are excluded solely on their country of origin or religion. My belief in democracy and the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights takes priority over my work and my general obsession into passwords, internet security and digital authentication."

PasswordsCon debuted in December 2010, evolving over the 6 years since becoming a bi-annual event (Las Vegas in July and somewhere in Europe in December 2017).

Such an event in RUB university in Bochum, Germany, back in December marked the eleventh conference.

In Las Vegas, PasswordsCon has been a separate two-day track at BSides for three editions since 2014. Between 150 to 200 people visited the symposium in Las Vegas last year, according to Thorsheim.

The event brings together white-hat hackers, industry experts and academics to share, improve and find various solutions for passwords, better internet security and related topics.

"Common feedback from first-timers is that they had never imagined the width and depth of passwords/authentication and what we are covering with this conference," Thorsheim asserted.

"PasswordsCon sets out to advance the state of the art within password cracking, password protection and continued development of best practices in all related areas. The event is designed to be free of sales and marketing pitches, with top speakers from around the globe within their respective areas. The focus is on high-quality, no-nonsense research and practical talks," he added.

Thorsheim paid tribute to those who have made the conference such a success and expressed hope that he will be able to return soon. In the meantime, the future of the conference is up in the air.

Thorsheim suggested it might be possible to hold it in either Mexico or Canada. Either is less desirable than the Las Vegas event, which occurs as an adjunct to BSides (BSidesLV) and just before the Black Hat and Defcon events, meaning a big crowd of hackers and security researchers is already in town.

"The travel ban itself affects people in a way I personally find impossible to accept," Thorsheim told us. "I also think that it will influence the attendance and quality of not just my own conference track, but most security conferences in the United States with an international audience."

"I have told my co-host Jeremi Gosney and BSidesLV that if they still want to do the password event in July they are free to do so. I won't be there, and I won't try to get any speakers or participants for it," he stated.

"If they drop doing the passwords conference, I might end up doing PasswordsCon as a separate event either in July, or shortly afterwards in another country. Canada is high up on my list, as it makes it rather easy for Americans to attend, while also allowing people in from most countries around the world," he concluded.

Source: Peter Thorsheim.

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Read the latest IT news. Visit ItDirection.net. Updated several times daily.

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Get a powerful Linux Dual-Core dedicated server for less than $2.67 a day!

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