About DEFCON Furs
DEFCON Furs is a 501c3 non-profit group that organizes events and parties at DEF CON for members of the infosec community that share an interest in the furry fandom. Our purpose is to promote, support, and advance the idea that we should be free to hack our own lives in a safe and supportive environment. Our focus is on education, organizing and providing support for individuals and groups that promote creating and owning a life and identity that is yours.
A history of DEFCON Furs
We started as a room meetup for furries that regularly attended the DEF CON hacker conference. As word spread within the community, there were more of us than what could fit in would fit into a small hotel room. By 2016, the founders held our first public meetup at the official DEF CON 24 pool party at Bally's. The cabana party was attended by furries, friends, and those who would later be instrumental in launching DEFCON Furs.
At the DEF CON 25, DEFCON Furs held its first con-within-a-con in a public suite where everyone at DEF CON, furry or otherwise, could come party, network, chill, work on challenges, and learn about DEF CON and the interesting people that make up the attendees. That first event was like a mini-furry convention as part of the DEF CON madness and was a tremendous success. Hundreds of visitors dropped by to share our love for the fandom and DEF CON. We even held a fundraiser for The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, raising $2,000 from the DEF CON community.
Our success in 2017 prompted DEFCON Furs to become part of Hack Your Lives, a California 501c3 non-profit corporation whose mission of inclusion and diversity was an ideal match for ours. Joining forces with Hack Your Lives helped us organize and operate our small group to spread our version of fun to a larger community.
By the time DEF CON 26 rolled around, our team and volunteers brought to the show a more extensive suite, more furries, a couple of panels, and another charity fundraiser. We are most proud of our electronic badge, the so-called "boop" badge (Wrench Fox Badge). The success of our badge brought awareness of DEFCON Furs to a larger community of DEF CON attendees who were eager to learn about the fandom and who we are.
In 2019, DEFCON Furs partnered with Queercon to host our con-within-a-con within their con space at the home of DEF CONs 7-13, the famed Alexis Park. We continued to grow our event featuring more panels, dances, parties, and networking meetups. Our 2018 show was a beloved by DEF CON, Queercon, and most importantly, you, our DEFCON Furs attendees.
During 2020, like DEF CON, the pandemic prompted us to turn ourselves into an online conference. While we missed the opportunity for comraderies and connections that only in-person can bring, we were able to reach a larger worldwide community of hackers-with-ears by moving online.
For DEF CON 29, we returned to in-person with the right-sized gathering space at Ball's. Our more intimate event featured meetups, presentations, and our now infamous hosted bar. The following week we hosted a successful online conference for our worldwide community.
This brings us to DEF CON 31. For 2023 DEFCON Furs plans to be in-person only.