A Las Vegas convention is encouraging its attendees to hack elections.
Since 1993, "Def Con" has been the largest annual gathering of hackers and for the first time Friday opened a "hacker voting village," inviting attendees to break into voting machines and voter databases in an effort to uncover vulnerabilities that could be exploited to sway election results.
Nearly 30 pieces were available for the hackers to examine and attempt to hack. Much of the equipment was purchased over eBay.
A simulation was run in which blue teams had to fend off red team hackers in a mock local election.
"We encourage you to do stuff that if you did on election day they would probably arrest you," Johns Hopkins computer scientist Matt Blaze, the organizer of the event, told attendees.
The event's organizers say the simulations were intended to dispel with what they feel is the myth that America's election systems are impenetrable as controversy surrounds Russia's role in meddling in the 2016 election.
"There's been a lot of claims that our election system is unhackable. That's BS," Jake Braun told Reuters. "Only a fool or liar would try to claim that their database or machine was unhackable."
"Def Con" is expected to attract over 20,000 attendees for the three-day convention.