Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A HoCo Haven for Hackers

If you want to recruit cyber warriors, the Defcon hackers convention is a good place to start. Last week, at Defcon 19 in Las Vegas, the Department of Defense was actively courting the hacker community for jobs at the National Security Agency and presumably the newly established Cyber Command at Fort Meade. According to this article by Andrew Brandt in PC World, attendees were encouraged to “to put their skills to use defending the country from spies, terrorists, and other criminals.”

Of course some of the more intrepid hackers attending the convention could be already be considered the enemy.

“The DOD's Christy and Tim Huff, a special agent with the FBI's Computer Analysis Response Team, fielded questions about so-called gray-hat hackers, who sometimes break the law but aren't charged. Christy and Huff made it clear that cybercriminals--even those who haven't been caught--are not likely to be invited to join the ranks of cybercops.”

Then again, the government stressed that a little youthful indiscretion in your past will not necessarily disqualify a hacker from serving their country.

"Everyone's broken the law at some time in their life, so it depends on when you did it," Christy answered. "If you were breaking the law yesterday and want to come work for the government tomorrow, the chances are we aren't going to select you, because there are a whole lot of talented people that haven't crossed over that line for seven or eight years."
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