Hackers up the stakes and descend upon the Strip for the Black Hat Convention

Hackers from around the world are descending upon Las Vegas for the Black Hat convention (KSNV file)

It's a hacker's high stakes dream -- a convention that gets bigger every year.

You don't even have to be in the same building to be targeted.

Hundreds of the world's best hackers are gathering for the Black Hat convention this week, putting locals and visitors at risk of being targeted for identity theft.

While many are coming to learn about new technology, others have a darker motivation -- to find and target your phone or computer and hijack your personal information.

In some cases, they even demand a ransom.

Leon Mare, a computer forensics analyst, says that while some hackers may be in it for the thrill, others are more sinister.

"If there are a large amount of crowds ... a lot of people there interested who can maybe make some money ... especially if they can get into someone's phone, especially if they can get to the credit card numbers, the passcodes," Mare said. "They get access to everything because nowadays, their whole life is on their phone.

With more hackers in town, there's more risk.

Anyone can become a target, and with the action centered around Mandalay Bay, Mare says he doesn't even trust taking his personal phone inside.

"There's a lot of things that transpire," Mare said. "It's very difficult to catch these guys because it could be an international ring, as well."

Word of advice -- if you're headed down to the Strip near Mandalay Bay, leave your phone at home or turn it off or on airplane mode.

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