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  • Anonymous hotel room?

    I love how Defcon does not care, or even want to know who goes to the convention. Bring cash and your in. It's much appreciated.
    However, what about getting a room? I am sure the feds pull the hotel records for every hotel during the Defcon period.

    How does one get an anonymous hotel room in Vegas? I have cash, but don't want to do the entire fake ID thing. Room sharing is out as I keep strange hours and sharing a room bugs me.

    I have option B, but I would rather be closer.

    And ideas?

  • #2
    Re: Anonymous hotel room?

    Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
    I love how Defcon does not care, or even want to know who goes to the convention. Bring cash and your in. It's much appreciated.
    However, what about getting a room? I am sure the feds pull the hotel records for every hotel during the Defcon period.

    How does one get an anonymous hotel room in Vegas? I have cash, but don't want to do the entire fake ID thing. Room sharing is out as I keep strange hours and sharing a room bugs me.

    I have option B, but I would rather be closer.

    And ideas?
    Find someone that trusts you enough to share a room with you. Best bet? Try meeting people at your local DCG (Defon Group) and see if they will share floor space, or part of their room with you. (Many people at Defcon keep strange hours, so I would not see "strange hours" as a reason to not share a room.)

    The hotels want all registered guests in a room to provide ID at check-in and be listed as members of a room. I don't know of anyone that has been kicked out for having people stay in their room when not registered unless they were really over the occupancy limit, and the few cases I know about only ended in asking the "Extra" people to leave the room, but they came back later anyway and kept things quiet and had no other problems. For people that are officially registered with the room, they can visit the front desk, provide proof of ID and reclaim anew room key if they lose one. Additionally, if something happens later where you are injured at the hotel, you will show up as a registered guest. Being a registered guest means that people calling for you can actually be transferred to your room when they call. If this is not desired, you can register yourself in what many hotels call, "non-registered guest," which means you are there for record keeping and room key requests, but not for routing of phone calls. (Similar to what "famous" people do when checking in to hotels, in addition to using an assumed name.)

    By not getting your name listed as a registered guest in a room, you have little to no protection if you are later locked out of the room, so be sure you trust the person offering you room space too.

    Anonymity has its own risks. Be careful. :-)

    Sleeping in a car is a really bad idea in the middle of a desert, especially if you keep strange hours and might try to sleep during the day. Many cities have started adding laws which make it illegal to sleep in cars when parked on the street (1,2,3, google for more) and hotels might kick you off their property or press charges for trespassing if you should return, and then you have an ID problem again, but this time with the police.

    Some states have anti-idling laws, so leaving your engine running with AC might be illegal in addition to being costly.

    If you had enough cash to cover a deposit for a room, you might be able to get away with staying in a room without providing a credit card, and with less reputable hotels/motels you might also use cash to avoid providing an ID. Cheap, legal anonymity in Las Vegas when it comes to sleeping? Sorry. I can't think of any right now.

    Additionally: Hotel room reservations often require a credit card in Las Vegas, and charges for first night, and charges for if you change your reservations "too late." It is hard to reserve a room in Las Vegas without a credit card.

    Sleeping in a car while drunk can lead to DUI

    Maybe mobile home parks won't require ID -- Don't know, never used one.
    Last edited by TheCotMan; July 6, 2008, 23:57.

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    • #3
      Re: Anonymous hotel room?

      Thanks for the tips.

      Nobody I trust is going to this years Defcon. And rooming with a stranger is not on the list for various reasons. One big one is what if the fed was after them? I don't want to be dragged into something.

      I know I am being paranoid, but I try to cover even remote possibilities. I am the same way with computers and it's why people pay me.

      The hotels could provide anonymous rooms if they wanted to. Just register under an assumed name with a healthy deposit encase you go all Spinal Tap on the room. Then have a password for getting a replacement key. I have never lost a hotel key anyway so I am not worried about that.
      Sadly, even a Hotel 6 requires photo ID for all staying in the rooms nowadays.

      If I was to sleep in the vehicle, it would be in an RV camping spot (not a lot of chance the feds would check), or out in the desert. I would prefer the desert (assuming one is setup for dry camping), as you would only have to worry about coyotes or the occasion henchmen digging a hole for someone who got too lucky on the slots.

      It could be fun to have an "unofficial" Defcon RV camp-and-hack location. Nothing quite like hacking under the stars. Could do some long range wifi stuff. :)

      I was hoping to find some little known rule that will allow an anonymous booking at a hotel, but no luck yet. At lest without going all Kevin Mitnick on them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Anonymous hotel room?

        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
        I love how Defcon does not care, or even want to know who goes to the convention. Bring cash and your in. It's much appreciated.
        However, what about getting a room? I am sure the feds pull the hotel records for every hotel during the Defcon period.
        If you think the "feds" have nothing better to do than to "pull the hotel records for every hotel during the Defcon period", you've been wearing your tin-foil hat for too long.

        IMHO, I think you'd arouse more suspicion by trying to get an "anonymous" hotel room than by registering with a valid ID like the rest of the world does.
        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
        Nobody I trust is going to this years Defcon. And rooming with a stranger is not on the list for various reasons. One big one is what if the fed was after them? I don't want to be dragged into something.
        So you're just assuming that any random DEFCON attendee has a high probability of being in trouble with the federal government, and the FBI (or whomever) is actively tracking them (presumably after they pulled the hotel records for every hotel during the DEFCON period), and will most assuredly bust them in their room, while you're there, and you'll be caught up in someone else's shenanigans?
        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
        I know I am being paranoid, but I try to cover even remote possibilities. I am the same way with computers and it's why people pay me.
        Paranoid. Ya think?

        So now, I'm curious. After pulling all these thousands of hotel records over 15 years, in the 15 year history of DEFCON, how many people (minus Dmitry Sklyarov at DC9) have ever been arrested at DEFCON by the federal government?
        Last edited by theprez98; July 7, 2008, 04:53.
        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Anonymous hotel room?

          Oh, baby. It's my favorite kind of paranoia...self-important (:-D). I thought about editing this (since I've had coffee), but nope, here it is, in all its caffeine-enhanced glory.

          thehumantor:
          I love how Defcon does not care, or even want to know who goes to the convention. Bring cash and your in. It's much appreciated.
          However, what about getting a room? I am sure the feds pull the hotel records for every hotel during the Defcon period.
          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
          If you think the "feds" have nothing better to do than to "pull the hotel records for every hotel during the Defcon period", you've been wearing your tin-foil hat for too long.
          In addition, you are viewing this as very low tech. Trust me, if the feds really really wanted to know about you, the face recognition stuffs that the casinos employ to look for things like card counters and other gambling evildoers are going to be identifying you in a heartbeat. Pull hotel records; hah!

          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
          IMHO, I think you'd arouse more suspicion by trying to get an "anonymous" hotel room than by registering with a valid ID like the rest of the world does.
          thehumantor:
          Nobody I trust is going to this years Defcon. And rooming with a stranger is not on the list for various reasons. One big one is what if the fed was after them? I don't want to be dragged into something.
          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
          So you're just assuming that any random DEFCON attendee has a high probability of being in trouble with the federal government, and the FBI (or whomever) is actively tracking them (presumably after they pulled the hotel records for every hotel during the DEFCON period), and will most assuredly bust them in their room, while you're there, and you'll be caught up in someone else's shenanigans?

          Paranoid. Ya think?
          Those days are long, long past. In fact, I don't think (except for poor Skylarov) that they were ever here. Da Feds are just as interested as the rest of us on what's up in security, but really, if they wanted someone, defcon would be a tough place to track them down. There are any number of easier solutions than that. This isn't paranoia, it's just plain (sorry) goofy.

          thehumantor:
          I know I am being paranoid, but I try to cover even remote possibilities. I am the same way with computers and it's why people pay me.
          This is not covering a possibility; this is wasting resources on nonsense. Along with the moronic (and much detested) statement of "If I told you I'd have to kill you," the assumption of omnipotence on the part of the federal (or local) government has to be everyone's favorite. Have you even considered the difficulty of searching such records? How about the database to store them? How about the time it would take for local venues to store them in such a fashion that they could easily to uploaded (or do you think that the federales have someone assigned to do just that)?

          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
          So now, I'm curious. After pulling all these thousands of hotel records over 15 years, in the 15 year history of DEFCON, how many people (minus Dmitry Sklyarov at DC9) have ever been arrested at DEFCON by the federal government?
          Thousands? Dude, I'm still drinking morning coffee, and even I don't think of it as thousands. Try millions; good god man, try billions!

          I've been around a very (very) long time, and while I love the spot the fed game as well as anyone, I understand that arresting is going to take place elsewhere, and quietly. Any arrest at defcon is all about theater, and for the effect of intimidation (and usually related to copyright issues). If you're worrying about associating with the wrong crowd, you should worry more about your local friends than anyone at defcon.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Anonymous hotel room?

            What if the random person you choose to room with happens to be a fed?

            Uh oh.. that could be trouble too.
            A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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            • #7
              Re: Anonymous hotel room?

              Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
              face recognition stuffs that the casinos employ ... Pull hotel records; hah!
              actually... the casinos don't tend to want the Feds within a country mile of their records and often have armies of lawyers at the ready to quash subpoenas.

              Now, if there are some shenanigans happening at a casino... they won't think twice about getting a carefully-edited segment of footage, etc. out to LEOs (or, more than likely, to the modern equivalent of the Griffin folks) but that's them offering specific records... not the Feds coming in and casting a wide net.
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                Hey Feds are good people. I had one take me to lunch, on the Government's nickel, in San Diego recently. Keep in mind, Feds have their share of hackers too and as Shrdlu said, they are interested in what's going on in Security as much as the rest of us.

                So as a suggestion, bite the bullet, get a room to yourself at the Riv and go with the flow. You'll get as much enjoyment out of Defcon as you permit yourself to have.

                Just remember, the con is only as good as what you put into it.
                DaKahuna
                ___________________
                Will Hack for Bandwidth

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  actually... the casinos don't tend to want the Feds within a country mile of their records and often have armies of lawyers at the ready to quash subpoenas.
                  You ever watch this Frontline episide?

                  Oh. Am I feeding paranoia? ]:>

                  It is online to watch now, I think:
                  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/view/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                    Is this tinfoil hat stuff? You bet.
                    Is trying to get an anonymous hotel room going to be suspicious? Yep.

                    None of this negates the fact that we should discuss it. What seems silly today, might be true tomorrow.

                    We only know of Dmitry getting arrested. How easy would it be to place a 3am phone call to some attendee saying a water line in the parking garage broke and you need to move your car. On your way to the car, a van pulls up and you are pulled inside.
                    This is all too easy.

                    Why would you not pull the hotel records? Even a 100,000 line CSV file is only going to be a few MB. Dump it into SQL and do a few "select name,address,checkin,checkout from rivira where name = "John Doe"; Hardware is cheap.
                    And we have seen request for records with hush orders stapled to the back before. And we know hotels have large record sharing systems to keep track of card cheats, in place.
                    I am not worried about getting arrested at Defcon at all. If I am that far up on the feds hit list, I would be totally shocked. I just would prefer to not be associated.

                    I figure it would go down like this.
                    lawyer: "So this is not your IP address recorded at the time of the attack."
                    me: "What's an IP address? I use a Mac. I don't know what you are talking about."
                    lawyer: "Is that so. Then why do we have your hotel reservations during the same as time Defcon, for the last X years?"
                    me: "Bad timing?"

                    Use the words "hacker","cracker", "Defcon" and it's guilty by association. And don't be fooled to think the average soccer mom is going to take the time to sort it all out. Think NBC. If you fit the black t-shirt mold...

                    As for the hotel camera system. True they have face recognition. I don't know how well it works. I also have to wonder how they make the initial connection between your name and face. Unless we go with a fedora tinfoil hat and assume that some database exist with a mugshot and name, then at most, your a walking hash to the camera system.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      Is this tinfoil hat stuff? You bet.
                      Is trying to get an anonymous hotel room going to be suspicious? Yep.
                      Let me see. You've asked this on a public forum, archived on a zillion sites. Please do not think that initial forum signups could not be subpoenaed. You want paranioa? Perhaps you should question who the other people on this thread are.

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      None of this negates the fact that we should discuss it. What seems silly today, might be true tomorrow.
                      Nah. Some things just remain silly.

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      We only know of Dmitry getting arrested. How easy would it be to place a 3am phone call to some attendee saying a water line in the parking garage broke and you need to move your car. On your way to the car, a van pulls up and you are pulled inside.
                      This is all too easy.
                      It's not television. It's not the movies. Seriously. Unless you are of middle eastern heritage, of course, in which case rendition could happen at any time. Please.

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      Why would you not pull the hotel records? Even a 100,000 line CSV file is only going to be a few MB. Dump it into SQL and do a few "select name,address,checkin,checkout from rivira where name = "John Doe"; Hardware is cheap.
                      And we have seen request for records with hush orders stapled to the back before. And we know hotels have large record sharing systems to keep track of card cheats, in place.
                      Hardware might be cheap, but time is not. There are only so many agents around. If someone from the FBI (or similar) thought that there was a serious threat, perhaps, but a bunch of drunken hackers just doesn't make it. Even though our friend Cot entertained us with the PBS entry, you should remember that that one involved terrists [sic], not hackers.

                      While I'm thinking about it, what is this "we" you are speaking of? "We" have not seen anything of the sort, even though "I" may have. *yawn* Hotels are *so* not interested in sharing any of their precious information with the feds; quite the contrary.

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      I am not worried about getting arrested at Defcon at all. If I am that far up on the feds hit list, I would be totally shocked. I just would prefer to not be associated.
                      You are just not paying attention. Associated with what? Me? Cot? DaKahuna? Perhaps Erehwon? For that matter, when you say "feds" just who do you mean? FBI? NSA? CIA? DIA? DHS? Wait, this is getting fun; I'm on a roll. DISA? NRO? NGL? I could get even more obscure, but I'm going to stop now.

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      I figure it would go down like this.
                      lawyer: "So this is not your IP address recorded at the time of the attack."
                      me: "What's an IP address? I use a Mac. I don't know what you are talking about."
                      lawyer: "Is that so. Then why do we have your hotel reservations during the same as time Defcon, for the last X years?"
                      me: "Bad timing?"
                      Please. If someone actually wants to talk to you, this little television episode you've built up just isn't going to happen. Either they'll have information down to the brand of toilet paper you buy, or it's going to be some kind of RIAA request, and it'll be nothing but entertainment time.

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      Use the words "hacker","cracker", "Defcon" and it's guilty by association. And don't be fooled to think the average soccer mom is going to take the time to sort it all out. Think NBC. If you fit the black t-shirt mold...
                      Um, you could use the search terms "hacker" "cracker" and "shrdlu" and come up with pretty much the same list. Your point? And what do soccer moms have to do with the price of tea in China? NBC? Wasn't that the home of our bestest friend from last con? (I never get tired of those videos, either)

                      Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                      As for the hotel camera system. True they have face recognition. I don't know how well it works. I also have to wonder how they make the initial connection between your name and face. Unless we go with a fedora tinfoil hat and assume that some database exist with a mugshot and name, then at most, your a walking hash to the camera system.
                      *I* know how well it works, but I also know that the hotel is not going to be sharing, not unless a whole bunch of lawyers have been dragged into it (as others have also pointed out). Oh, and mugshots and names? Piece of cake. Just not available to your current bugaboo, is all.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                        Is this tinfoil hat stuff? You bet.
                        Is trying to get an anonymous hotel room going to be suspicious? Yep.

                        None of this negates the fact that we should discuss it. What seems silly today, might be true tomorrow.
                        Or, what seems silly today, seems even sillier tomorrow. I'm not even sure why I am taking the time to respond to your post, because I'm not sure I'll change one iota of your thinking; but here goes.
                        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                        We only know of Dmitry getting arrested. How easy would it be to place a 3am phone call to some attendee saying a water line in the parking garage broke and you need to move your car. On your way to the car, a van pulls up and you are pulled inside.
                        This is all too easy.
                        Either you watch too many movies, or your imagination is in overdrive. How often does the government arrest people by pulling them inside a van? Your conspiracy-driven paranoia really shines through. As Thorn mentioned to me while discussing this thread earlier: If you pay taxes, the government knows where you live. If the government wanted to arrest someone, why try to track them down in Las Vegas when they could easily go to their home?
                        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                        Why would you not pull the hotel records? Even a 100,000 line CSV file is only going to be a few MB. Dump it into SQL and do a few "select name,address,checkin,checkout from rivira where name = "John Doe"; Hardware is cheap.
                        <sarcasm>Yes, all federal agents are experts at collecting data from multiple sources (in multiple formats) and parsing CSV files to obtain your room number.</sarcasm>
                        Given your apparent lack of faith in the federal government, I guess you're assuming that the federal government ignores trivial matters of inconvenience like search warrants. I'm sure federal judges routinely grant search warrants for every hotel in Las Vegas during particular hacker conventions. Even so. So you stayed at the Riviera during DEFCON. So what? So do thousands of other people. Association with DEFCON is not a bad thing. You might be surprised to know that the federal government (among them DoD, federal law enforcement) actually pays for people (and government contractors) to go to DEFCON.
                        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                        And we have seen request for records with hush orders stapled to the back before. And we know hotels have large record sharing systems to keep track of card cheats, in place.
                        Systems that protect casinos against cheating exist because cheating affects the casino's bottom line, not to catch random hackers at DEFCON.
                        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                        I am not worried about getting arrested at Defcon at all. If I am that far up on the feds hit list, I would be totally shocked. I just would prefer to not be associated.
                        I would hope that you would be "totally shocked" if your name was on any list, no? Or do you just assume that the secret FBI "Hacker Tracker" division maintains lists and profiles of anyone who calls themselves a hacker? Or who has even attended DEFCON? Why is being associated with DEFCON such a bad thing? I got my current job because I was at DEFCON!
                        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                        I figure it would go down like this.
                        lawyer: "So this is not your IP address recorded at the time of the attack."
                        me: "What's an IP address? I use a Mac. I don't know what you are talking about."
                        lawyer: "Is that so. Then why do we have your hotel reservations during the same as time Defcon, for the last X years?"
                        me: "Bad timing?"
                        Your first mistake is talking to anyone without a lawyer of your own. Your second mistake is trying to be a smartass about it.
                        Originally posted by thehumantor View Post
                        Use the words "hacker","cracker", "Defcon" and it's guilty by association. And don't be fooled to think the average soccer mom is going to take the time to sort it all out. Think NBC. If you fit the black t-shirt mold...
                        Well, it's sad to say that you sully DEFCON's reputation by suggesting that anything associated with it is guilty. You are relying on bad "hacker" stereotypes that have long since outlived their usefulness.
                        Last edited by theprez98; July 7, 2008, 11:20.
                        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                          Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                          Nah. Some things just remain silly.
                          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
                          Or, what seems silly today, seems even sillier tomorrow.
                          Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                          It's not television. It's not the movies. Seriously. Unless you are of middle eastern heritage, of course, in which case rendition could happen at any time. Please.
                          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
                          Either you watch too many movies, or your imagination is in overdrive...
                          shrdlu,

                          Have you been reading my monitor while I type again? ;)
                          "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                            If you really need a anon place to stay, and have a good reason, damn good, contact me, otherwise..bunk with others, stay across the street, or give a fake id a shot (good luck with that one). Im respectful as can be of privacy and such, but there are plenty of ways to be anon without significant risk. Just by going to this event, you put yourself at risk. This is an event for fun, knowledge sharing, ect, if you want hard core, then feel free to grab a party line or meetup at the spot - otherwise, Id say dont worry. Your among friends..(mostly). :)

                            Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                            Let me see. You've asked this on a public forum, archived on a zillion sites. Please do not think that initial forum signups could not be subpoenaed. You want paranioa? Perhaps you should question who the other people on this thread are.



                            Nah. Some things just remain silly.



                            It's not television. It's not the movies. Seriously. Unless you are of middle eastern heritage, of course, in which case rendition could happen at any time. Please.



                            Hardware might be cheap, but time is not. There are only so many agents around. If someone from the FBI (or similar) thought that there was a serious threat, perhaps, but a bunch of drunken hackers just doesn't make it. Even though our friend Cot entertained us with the PBS entry, you should remember that that one involved terrists [sic], not hackers.

                            While I'm thinking about it, what is this "we" you are speaking of? "We" have not seen anything of the sort, even though "I" may have. *yawn* Hotels are *so* not interested in sharing any of their precious information with the feds; quite the contrary.



                            You are just not paying attention. Associated with what? Me? Cot? DaKahuna? Perhaps Erehwon? For that matter, when you say "feds" just who do you mean? FBI? NSA? CIA? DIA? DHS? Wait, this is getting fun; I'm on a roll. DISA? NRO? NGL? I could get even more obscure, but I'm going to stop now.



                            Please. If someone actually wants to talk to you, this little television episode you've built up just isn't going to happen. Either they'll have information down to the brand of toilet paper you buy, or it's going to be some kind of RIAA request, and it'll be nothing but entertainment time.



                            Um, you could use the search terms "hacker" "cracker" and "shrdlu" and come up with pretty much the same list. Your point? And what do soccer moms have to do with the price of tea in China? NBC? Wasn't that the home of our bestest friend from last con? (I never get tired of those videos, either)



                            *I* know how well it works, but I also know that the hotel is not going to be sharing, not unless a whole bunch of lawyers have been dragged into it (as others have also pointed out). Oh, and mugshots and names? Piece of cake. Just not available to your current bugaboo, is all.
                            +++ Dallas +++

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Anonymous hotel room?

                              Originally posted by Mixitup View Post
                              Just by going to this event, you put yourself at risk.
                              Do you really believe that? At risk for what? From whom?
                              "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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