The hacker and cybersecurity event known as GrrCon starts today at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.  This post is just a friendly reminder to be careful while you are downtown around that venue today and tomorrow.  It might be a good idea to turn off your wifi and Bluetooth while you are in that area.

It's more than likely that nothing nefarious will happen to you or your devices while you are in the area, but it is a possibility.  So, before you say that this post is just fear-mongering, let me explain why you should still be careful.

When I attended GrrCon's second convention, the audience was told by a few different presenters that it wasn't a bad idea to have your phone in airplane mode while at the conference to protect yourself.  In addition to that warning, one presenter also told a story about how a similar type of convention got banned from a city in Denmark because convention-goers hacked into multiple car's computers in front of the hall and moved them to demonstrate their lack of security.

Those are just two anecdotal stories from my time at the conference years ago, but it's probably better to be safe than sorry.  While the vast majority of the people attending will be cybersecurity experts and white hat hackers (hackers who work to make security systems stronger by finding exploits that need to be fixed), some attendees may want to "show off" their skills by attempting to hack devices being used by pedestrians in the area.

Heck, even someone on Reddit is warning Grand Rapidians about the conference too.