Annual Black Hat Convention in Las Vegas expected to draw the largest crowd ever this year

Cyber knowledge for both the good and nefarious. A look at this year’s Black Hat Convention

It's the largest conference of its kind in the United States, bringing together like-minded computer types with a singular purpose: Hackers!

The Black Hat Convention in Las Vegas aims to teach people how to stop them.

"As more information and resources are available electronically, the more attacks will be developed," said one attendee.

Ross Rustici is Director of Intelligence Services for a Boston-based company called Cybereason.

"There are large groups spread throughout Eastern Europe, Asia -- pretty much every geography has a large, vibrant cyber-crime community," he said. "North American and the United States is no exception."

Hackers have already reportedly compromised social media accounts, perhaps even presidential elections. Worst case scenario: They could one day take control of power grids, temporarily shutting down cities like Las Vegas.

Remedies and stop-gap tactics are taught here at Black Hat, including how to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. However, the hackers are also smart, and it's widely thought many also attend the conference to learn how to commit cyber-crimes.

"I've heard that there's a nefarious element that comes to this conference to learn how to be a hacker,” I asked one attendee wearing a black hat.

“You're not that, are you?,” I asked.

He said, "No, I work on the defense side, I’m a good guy."

This year’s Black Hat Convention is expected to draw nearly 20,000 attendees. It continues through Thursday at the Mandalay Events Center.

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