What is CypherCon?

CypherCon is a hacker conference based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Topics include Hacking, Information Security, Cryptography, Forensics, and other security oriented topics.

With the pandemic, our next shot is CypherCon 5.2 in Fall 2021 (no set dates yet) with a “go/no go” decided in June 2021. When we return, anticipating over 1000 attendees, which will likely need to be approved at the state and local levels. All 2020 purchased tickets are now “forever” tickets, good for one use at any future physical CypherCon event.

When and where is CYPHERCON 5.3 (2022)?

Tentatively April 28, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thursday: 1:30PM-10:00PM  (Afterparty 10pm-2am)

Friday 10:00AM-5:00PM

*The above times are subject to change.

Why does CYPHERCON Exist?

The event aims to lead, convene, and connect local and neighboring hacker and information security friends for an open discussion on strong cryptography, become advocacy outlet for privacy, and strive for the betterment of education of the general public in a diligent, loyal, honest manner, and not knowingly be part of any illegal or improper activities. We will accomplish this by being the interchange of knowledge and ideas, advancing the industry forward, while never forgetting our cultural hacker past.

What is there to do at CYPHERCON?

The conference format allows for specialized areas called villages, interesting talks, informal discussions, socializing, challenges, contests, and competitions. Technology and hacking is the primary purpose of the con but recommend divination into other related topics. Some like hacking the badge, some like capture the flag, some like the presentation topics.

What are the ticket types?

2020/2021 digital tickets will include a special edition digital badge. Both include everything speaker and village related. Also, 2020 ticket holders will gain an additional item in addition to rolling their ticket into 2022: A digital ticket that includes the famous tymkr created electronic badge or an analog ticket that included a plastic badge which includes all event activities at a reduced cost. CypherCon 5.3 also provides over 75 students discounted prices on both electronic and analog badges.

All tickets included attendance to all speakers and villages. The difference between analog and digital is only the interactive badge created by the tymkrs.

Do you offer Student or Group Discounts?

Yes, Please contact us for more details.

I have my CypherCon tickets, now what?

We have your ticket on record. Please bring a screenshot of your 2020 or 2021 “Forever” ticket or 2022 ticket. You can pickup your badges and/or shirt, hoodies at “will call” at registration desk, beginning 1:30pm.

Are CypherCon tickets transferable?

Yes, However, you’ll need to contact us to confirm the transfer. Each ticket is picked up at will-call, transferred tickets may have to show an ID at the door to grant entry. You may contact us to verify and switch names in our system up until 3 weeks prior to the event.

What are the Speaker Presentations like?

Presentations include: corporate and network security, privacy, personal rights and freedoms, new technologies, modern exploit techniques, security philosophy, hardware hacking, forensics, reverse engineering, protocol analysis, cryptographic algorithms, even mushroom hacking, and all-around security issues with comedic ‘hacker’ motifs. Lastly, you never really have to touch a computer, and can socialize.

How do I get in the slack for CypherCon?

Click Here for the CypherCon Slack

I’m not a hacker, Am I allowed at CypherCon?

Of Course! Anyone in good standing with cyphercon and/or the community may attend! A hacker is anyone who is curious and creative and seeks to understand how things work. Ultimately, many people have different characterizations of what a ‘hacker’ is, you can express whomever you wish to be.

Come learn with us, see interesting things, and participate!

What is the age limit?

CypherCon has no age limits, however we do not have specific areas designed for children on Thursday or Friday. Saturday is a dedicated event for children aged 7-17 at Hak4kidz a parent/child event. Feel free to contact us for further details in your discussion process.

Do you offer cancellations or refunds?

No, we have a strict no-refund policy, however we will help you find an eager student willing to attend on your behalf.

Please note if you have a to our 2020 ticket canceled by covid-19, we will be rolling those tickets into “Forever” tickets and is good for our 2022 event or thereafter. As an alternative, we are looking into refund options if our insurance carriers allows. We anticipate this being a small probability.

Our strict no-refund policy states, “Any and all payments made to CypherCon are not refundable for any reason, including, without limitation, failure to use Credentials due to illness, change in attendance availability, acts of God, travel-related problems, acts of terrorism, government shutdowns of any kind, loss of employment and/or duplicate purchases.” unless our event insurance gets activated and contributes to reimbursement.

I accidentally sent a duplicate order or forgot I can’t be charged tax, can you refund?

We will help you refund your order, however we get hit with a processing fee of 2.9%+30c, if it was our system’s fault, we’ll refund that. If the fault is on your side, we ask you pay this processing fee as our payment processor does not refund that to us.

Do sponsors influence the event?

To guarantee the independent nature of the conference, CypherCon has always had the following sponsorship guidelines:

    • Sponsors cannot affect the agenda
    • Sponsorship will not guarantee (nor prevent) a presentation slot
    • Zero tolerance for presentations that focus on marketing or directly promoting a commercial product

Is there a code of conduct?


CypherCon provides a forum for open discussion between participants, where radical viewpoints are welcome and a high degree of skepticism is expected. However, insulting or harassing other participants is unacceptable. We want CypherCon to be a safe and productive environment for everyone. It’s not about what you look like but what’s in your mind and how you present yourself that counts at CypherCon

We do not condone harassment against any participant, for any reason. Harassment includes deliberate intimidation and targeting individuals in a manner that makes them feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or afraid.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. We reserve the right to respond to harassment in the manner we deem appropriate, including but not limited to expulsion without refund and referral to the relevant authorities.

This Code of Conduct applies to everyone participating at CypherCon – from attendees and exhibitors to speakers, press, volunteers, and staff.

Anyone can report harassment. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, you can contact a staff member, go to the registration desk, or info booth.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel security, local law enforcement, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of CypherCon

Remember: The CON is what you make of it, and as a community we can create a great experience for everyone.

*Thank you to DEFCON for the open source code of conduct and their legal team’s time and effort.

What is the Photography Policy?

Media Rights and Responsibilities

CYPHERCON is a private event. As a participant or member of the media, you must be aware of your rights and responsibilities. CYPHERCON is committed to preserving the uniquely creative and private character of its culture. Hackers tend to be passionate about personal privacy and we respect that. To that end, we ask all participants, including members of the media, to exercise and respect certain rights and responsibilities.

Photography/video without explicit permission is forbidden, with the exception of approved “Media Professionals”

If you wish to use any photo, video, or audio from the event for any use, you must apply and receive a “Media Professional” status for the CYPHERCON event. We offer two types: personal photographer status and a commerical “non-personal” media status. Both require this registration process to protect the privacy and other rights of participants and to prevent commercial exploitation of CYPHERCON.

“Personal Media Status” includes:

Obtain consent of all in the frame.

Content reviewed by CYPHERCON leadership prior to approval

“Commercial Media Status” include:

Publishing photos in a printed or online book, magazine, or newspaper.

Using footage in a professional quality video.

Displaying images on a non-personal website or in a gallery show.

Using imagery in a documentary or TV show.

Distributing media to any third-party group or publication. This includes offering photos for publication, or making any commercial or promotional use of event media.

General rule of thumb for whether a use is non-personal: Is the event imagery being used for financial gain, OR being widely distributed beyond your personal network of friends and family? If either of these is true, you are likely commercial.

To apply for a personal photographer status and a commerical “non-personal” media status, please apply as “Media Professional” by contacting Goetzman@gmail.com with the following information:

Full Name & Title:

Personal or commercial Status:


Link to articles you’ve written pertaining to computer security/hacking or other Defcon related topic (if new to security, send best articles on a different subject):

Phone number (cell):

Email address:

Failure to abide by these rules may result in the revocation of your press pass, ejection from the property, and/or legal consequences.

If your image violates the privacy or other rights of another participant, you should not display it in any public manner. If you did not pre-register as a professional shooter at the event, you may apply for permission later if you or someone else wishes to make non-personal use of your images. But you must obtain our written permission before the use is made.

Where should I stay the night?

We recommend stating at the Hilton or Hyatt hotel connected to the conference. If those are unavailable we recommend the historic hotel downtown Milwaukee called The Pfister Hotel. The Pfister Hotel was the location of our very first year. *Please hold until we have confirmed dates due to the pandemic.

What about my privacy?

We honestly try hard to protect your information. We do not provide attendee lists to anyone beyond the organizer. We may email you occasionally about the event. We will not sell your information to third parties. Photos and video may be taken at the event by authorized individuals wearing press badges and approved by CypherCon leadership. Still Worried? Contact us and we can send you a cryptopayment address for payment.