DEF CON China conference put on hold due to coronavirus outbreak

DEF CON team is hoping that the 2019-nCoV outbreak will improve and they can go on as planned, or reschedule.

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Image: DEF CON

The organizers of the DEF CON cyber-security conference have announced today that they are putting this year's China edition "on hold" due to the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

"China has announced a six-month hold on events like ours as part of the effort to combat the coronavirus outbreak," the DEF CON team said in a forum post today.

DEF CON is one of the Top 3 most prestigious cyber-security conferences today. The conference is held each year in Las Vegas, in the month of August.

The Chinese edition of the DEF CON conference, which would have reached its second edition this year, was set to take place in Beijing between April 17 and April 19.

Organizers said they are currently putting the DEF CON China 2.0 conference on hold, but have not officially canceled the event.

The DEF CON team is still hoping that the situation in mainland China improves and they can go on as planned, or at least reschedule for a later date.

"Know that we are committed to holding the event once it's safe to do so," organizers said. "The situation is still developing. We're working to find alternative dates for DEF CON China 2.0."

"Our hearts go out to our many friends in the affected regions."

The 2019-nCoV coronavirus is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan, China. So far, the virus has killed 81 people and sickened more than 2,800 in mainland China alone.

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering launched today an online dashboard for tracking the 2019-nCoV outbreak as it spreads out of China and across Asia, North America, and Europe.

Additional official resources for tracking 2019-nCoV are available via the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Health experts have warned internet users to be mindful of taking health advice from random internet sites.

They also warned of sharing misinformation about the virus from unofficial websites as they may end up misleading victims and putting people's lives at risk.