WHY WERE THESE INDIVIDUALS NOT ALL ARRESTED? A convention of criminals, and no one paid attention? Oh, I see; it’s Canada. Thanks, Hosers!
Take a deep breath...
Many of those “hackers” work for global security firms, it’s their job to find exploits.
And as for the students, it’s basically the same thing, they work to find and expose exploits to force the company that made the software to tighten it’s security.
It’s people like them that help to find and fix security holes, they’re referred to as “White Hat Hackers”, they’re the good guys.
Because they didn’t launch any attacks on other people’s systems. They developed the exploits on their own time and their own dime, and merely showcased them at this event in an effort to win a prize.
Charlie Miller, who attacks OS X for his prize money, used to be an NSA employee.
There’s nothing illegal about hacking your own computer, or a computer offered up openly for hacking. They’re only breaking the law if they hack a computer against the owner’s wishes. You can bust the software on your own machine all you want.
That's the mac security model. Just keep people from knowing about it and you'll be secure. But many of these guys are white hats where they find holes and then tell the companies about them so they can make the product secure.