Agent: Thank you for your help this year. You have successfully restored the Daemon.

This year's event at DefCon 23 was an exciting, tiring and often hair-pulling journey -- just ask 0a to show you his hair, or lack thereof. It would not have been possible without a dedicated, hard-working team that started long before DefCon and continued to work until the very last moments. I thank them as I thank you -- without us all, none of this would have been possible.

There were successes and failures along the way, and parts of the journey were warming and other parts tell us that there continue to be ways we can be better. We look forward to all of your feedback as we continue to fine-tune the DarkNet project.

We had over 200 people participate in our teaser mission. Over 1000 total accounts, almost 400 of which were creating during the 'con. We have had 1395 missions completed comprising 8933 completed quests.

I look forward, and I believe I speak for the team when I say that they look forward, to seeing you all next year!



The Daemon interacts with DarkNet agents via Jabber. You can get started either by using a Jabber client such as Pidgin or use our web interface into the Daemon.

If you're using Pidgin, and you don't already have a DarkNet account, you can go to Accounts > Manage Accounts, click Add, select XMPP as the protocol, pick a unique username, use as the Domain and then enter a password. Before clicking Add, check the box that says 'Create this new account on the server.' Then click Add and enable your new DarkNet account!

If you're using the web client, simply click the Daemon button on the website, and click Create an XMPP account. Simply enter a unique jabber username, select your password, and click Register. No problem!


The DarkNet was inspired by a community concept of the same name presented in Daniel Suarez's seminal books, "Daemon" and "Freedom." In it, an autonomous artificial intelligence implemented by the visionary Matthew A. Sobol and activated by news of his death comes to "life" and begins recruiting people to embark on a mission that will change humanity forever. Sobol foresaw a clash between those who would use technology to centralize power in an elite few and those who would use it to empower individuals to maintain their autonomy, power and rights in an increasingly complex world.

At DefCon, the DarkNet Project team has come together to inspire the hacker and maker communities. Our primary goals are to promote community efforts in learning new technology and promoting good information security practices. We hold an event every year that challenges our agents to gather knowledge from all across the conference, from villages to other events to communities like DeafCon, and use it to compete for the top honor our community members can achieve. Just as in Sobol's and Suarez's vision, the highest form of competition does not merely consist in excellent individual achievement, but the degree to which an agent can help and raise up her fellow agents.

Many, many people have helped to bring this vision to life. Some of them are listed here.

@l33tbunni, AKA BUNNEH, is the consumate tinkerer, assembling many of the cool hardware hacks you will find in the DarkNet. When he's not soldering stuff, he tests everything that 0a has broken and is an absolute master at the copying and pasting of JSON. There are rumors that he and 0a may be parts of super secret epics that you have yet to discover. [keyword: b]

@CmdC0de is a force to be reckoned with and you will note the cool logo on our badge PCBs. The DarkNet badge has grown from a cool quest tool into a multifunctional, fully hackable device with more hidden on it than obvious. When he's not melting boards as he finds bugs, he is probably becoming one with the electrical current of the universe. Or something. [keyword: c]

@Gater_Byte is a constant source of energy for the DarkNet team and the mastermind behind many of the wifi-based missions that constitute the DarkNet challenge. Legend has it that he can decrypt WPA2-Personal keys in his mind and, by wiggling his fingers, he can disrupt radio transmissions on wavelengths between 1um and 4km. [keyword: d]

Anyone who knows @GuloGuloDesu will remark upon his inhuman height; but he has other fine attributes as well, not the least of which is his creation of some of the most clever, and some of the most bizarre, quests of the DarkNet. When he is in "mohawk mode," he is capable of both rocking out and performing feats of Kung Fu that would dazzle a casual observer. [keyword: g]

The Wild Samosa, The Mild Samosa -- the many personalities of this agent are infamous. What else would you expect from the social interface of the DarkNet? From Twitter to trivia, from reality to rebus, she has been the wicked mind behind DarkNet efforts to bring our agents together to solve puzzles together. When she's not out promoting chaos, she knits. No, really. [keyword: j]

@fallintosanity is the newest DarkNet recruit. She specializes in keeping everyone sane, an extremely difficult job. She also helps oversee the story elements, keeping the chaos clean and orderly. She spends her free time happily using her red editing pen to make sure that the epics are coherent for all of our fellow agents.[keyword: s]

@skyria, field agent extraordinare and frequent featured story element in the growing lore of the community, oversees the story team and helps create the virtual world that is our vision of the DarkNet. She is one of only two agents ever to have confronted the Mad Hatter directly in an out-of-band story element from DC22, which is ironic, since she invented him in the first place. [keyword: b]

@zeroaltitude is in charge of infrastructure of the game and helped bring the pre-DefCon "teaser" challenges to life. He enjoys long walks on the beach, sunsets and rainbows. When he is not helping out with the DarkNet, he crunches numbers and dances to Drum 'n Bass music whenever given a legitimate opportunity. Prime numbers excite him unnaturally. [keyword: c]

DarkNet started with a man who had an idea. He wanted to create something to give others with the same idea the ability and freedom to create their own community. He wanted to give others a community worth protecting; a safe place to learn, teach, grow, build, and create everything we needed to live independently.

Unsurprisingly, DarkNet has flourished. 4 years ago, the member list was small, but we’ve grown exponentially, and now we’re a force to be reckoned with.

Also unsurprisingly, we’ve encountered some resistance to our independent community. There are those who seek to destroy what we’ve created because we pose a threat to their own ideas, which include using us for their own selfish means.

We have been watched closely in the last three years, but last year, one group unhappy with our ideals attempted to act. An agent, skyria, was kidnapped when her safe house was compromised. Fortunately, with the help of agents like you, we discovered her location and rescued her from the clutches of a powerful enemy -- Mad Hatter. In the following months, we worked to uncover a plot by the Mad Hatter to electronically infiltrate our community. When that failed, he tried to lead a physical attack against our agents. Again, with the help of agents like you, we managed to put together a surprise attack first, took out his army, and sent him deep underground.

All was peaceful…at least, for a while. We have been building our community in the meantime: recruiting new agents, teaching them, and learning from them. We were upgrading our hardware when the Mad Hatter struck again, stealing drones that were transporting the upgraded equipment, which included a new Daemon backup. With help, we located and retrieved the equipment and drones, but realized soon afterward that the Mad Hatter had been active all of that time and had gotten a mole past our defenses. Now, we must locate and remove this mole to make our community secure again.




Useful commands

ctrl/alt z: show/hide help

ctrl/alt x: show/hide the communications box

ctrl/alt q: quit teaser and don't show again

ctrl/alt u: re-enable teaser

ctrl/alt m: reset teaser