Actor Will Smith Hangs Out With Hackers

Dennis Faas's picture

It's hard to imagine seeing internationally-renowned actor Will Smith at a conference for hackers. But the star of 'Independence Day' and 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air' made a splash at the recent Defcon hacking event held this past weekend.

The Defcon hacker conference was started two decades ago. Originally, it was little more than a party for a network of hackers who got to know one another through BBS, or Bulletin Board Systems. (Source:

In the years since, Defcon has become a friendly meeting ground for computer security professionals, journalists, lawyers, government workers, and, of course, hackers.

Unsurprisingly, discussions often focus on emerging trends in hacking and computer security.

This year's Defcon event attracted an estimated 15,000 attendees.

Smith Studying Pickpocketing Artist for Upcoming Film

Smith dropped into the conference to take in a talk by Apollo Robbins, a well-known security consultant and pickpocketing entertainer.

Robbins may be best known for picking the pockets of Secret Service agents during a meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

According to Chris Hadnagy, the chief executive officer of Social-Engineer (a social engineering consultancy firm), Robbins is coaching Smith for a role in an upcoming Hollywood production.

It's not yet known what that movie will be called, when it will be released, or who else might star in the film. However, Smith reportedly told a Defcon organizer that he expects the movie to eventually reach theaters.

Star "Thoroughly Impressed" with Hacking Equipment, Techniques

Smith entered the conference via a back door so that he could see Robbins' presentation, which involved stealing the watch, wallet, and mobile phone of an unsuspecting attendee who volunteered to go up on stage.

Smith then took a tour of the Defcon conference area, where he was shown radio-frequency identification hardware and 'Pwnie Express' hacking equipment. According to Hadnagy, Smith "was thoroughly impressed." (Source:

"He was very interested in how profiling people is done and social engineering," Hadnagy added. "He wanted to understand the human part of hacking."

Smith then signed some autographs before departing.

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