This "anonymous" culture was prevalent; several of the speakers, as noted, used pseudonyms or false names. Most professionals attending the conference took time off to do so, meaning they paid out of pocket. With a low registration fee of $85, attendees came from a variety of backgrounds, which may allow for the kind of recruiting Looyenga wants to do.
Of course, the joke was on them. I got a free conference pass to the event with a social engineering attack.
I made up some story about being a reporter.
Matthew Heusser is a consultant and writer based in West Michigan. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mheusser, contact him by email or visit the website of his company, Excelon Development. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.
Read more about cybercrime in CIO's Cybercrime Drilldown.