Show attendee Michael Bender said that attendees could get into trouble with their employers if it was known that they attended the show. "We're talking about people's livelihoods," said Bender, a teacher at a Wisconsin technical college
Defcon organizers identified Madigan after being tipped off by her associates, who Priest declined to name. After the incident, Priest showed reporters a complete dossier on Madigan, which included a photograph, phone number, job title and social security number. He would not say how he obtained it.
Dateline NBC could not be reached for comment.
Defcon's Moss said that he's concerned that the Dateline producers may have been trying to sensationalize the conference, thus undermining the show's goal of fostering a free exchange of ideas. "We researched them online and we see (the show's producers) do hit and run pieces," he said. "It's not actually research and news. It's just sensationalistic nonsense. And that makes us nervous."
Media and bloggers have gone undercover at Defcon in the past, but nobody of the stature of NBC has ever tried this, Moss said.
"I'm concerned that some impressionable kid... is just going to get cornered and is going to start bragging about stuff," he said. "The next thing you know, he's on nightly news."
Defcon runs through Sunday at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Erik Larkin of PC World contributed to this story.