By Lucian Constantin
Actor Will Smith captured the attention of Defcon attendees when he showed up unexpectedly at the hacker conference on Sunday apparently to do research for an upcoming movie.
The actor attended a talk that featured Apollo Robbins, a renowned sleight-of-hand artist, security consultant and entertainer, who is best known for picking the pockets of Secret Service agents during an encounter with U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Smith came at the invitation of Robbins, who is coaching him for an upcoming movie, said Chris Hadnagy, the CEO of social engineering consultancy and training firm Social-Engineer and organizer of the Defcon social engineering contest.
According to Hadnagy, Smith was brought in through a back door so he can sit in and hear the talk that he, Robbins and Michele Fincher, another Social-Engineer representative, gave.
The talk included a demonstration of Robbins’ skills, as he called an attendee to the stage and stole his watch, wallet and mobile phone in front of the crowd.
Smith was so impressed with Defcon that he decided to walk around, Hadnagy said. “We went to the vendor area and showed him lock picks, RFID (radio-frequency identification) stuff, Pwnie Express [hacking equipment]—he was thoroughly impressed.”
Smith then visited the Social Engineering Capture the Flag contest room where he greeted some people, gave some autographs and took some pictures, Hadnagy said.
“We showed him some things we did for our [social engineering] class,” Hadnagy said. “He was very interested in how profiling people is done and social engineering. He wanted to understand the human part of hacking.”
Smith had to leave after 20 minutes, otherwise he risked getting mobbed, Defcon founder Jeff Moss said.
There were about 15,000 attendees at Defcon this year, according to the organizers.
It’s not clear if Smith was at the conference doing research for a role in an upcoming movie or for a movie that he plans to produce.
Smith didn’t share the name of the movie, but said that it’s likely that it will be made, Moss said.
Some pictures of Smith at the conference accompanied by Jeff Moss were posted by attendees on Twitter.
Pwnie Express Founder Dave Porcello & Will Smith