GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Hide your computer, hide your cell phone, and turn off your electronic device because GRRCON is going on at DeVos Place. It is a place where hackers and IT professionals meet to learn about computing security.
Hacking has been in the news lately with groups like Lulzsec and Anonymous attacking and taking down major websites in an effort to stop what they call "corruption."
Not all hackers are out to destroy. Christopher Payne is one of the founders of GRRCON. His goal is to get like-minded people together to learn something he calls "ethical" hacking.
Ethical hacking is a concept where you test systems for vulnerabilities," Payne explains, "and you find problems before people with unethical intentions do."
There is good money being a hacker that looks for holes in security. Payne says, "Companies all over the world will hire hackers to break into their system and tell them how they did it so they can fix it."
Payne says there is a stereotype of computer hackers, "If you ask the average person it is probably some overweight nerd in his mother's basement beating on his computer till 3 a.m." Payne explains, "that's kind of accurate.
There is a reason why some hackers don't see the light of day, and that is because to find loopholes requires a lot of time searching and testing. It can be tedious work.
The conference isn't just dedicated to computer hacking. There is also a section dedicated to lock picking, an activity that hackers have embraced. There was even an eight-year-old Mattie who was showing off her skills with the pick.
The conference runs September 27, and 28 and you can find more information at http://grrcon.org.