US gov’t building hacker army for cyber war

NSA-hackers-cyber-war

The US National Security Agency hopes to hire a mass of “cyber warriors” this year, and another large group next year, to help the country fight the increasingly intense international cyber war, reports Reuters.

To find new recruits, representatives from the NSA, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and NASA, will be attending the annual DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas, which takes place this weekend.

Started in 1993 by hacker Jeff Moss (aka Dark Tangent), DEF CON is the preeminent meet-up for US hackers. The four-day conference costs $150 — in cash only — to attend. There is no registration, no credit cards allowed, which keeps everything anonymous. About 10,000 computer savvy individuals are expected to attend this year’s conference.

The NSA spy agency hopes to find skilled individuals willing to help the United States conduct itself — both defensively and offensively — in the growing global cyber war, which is gaining combatants and victims more and more each day. (Sources who attended last year’s DEF CON tell us that members of the US nation security complex were also in attendance then, as well, with similar recruiting goals.)

Hacker groups like LulzSec and Anonymous are running amok over the websites of corporations, and stealing classified documents from high-level trans-governmental organizations like NATO and the International Monetary Fund. More nefarious digital underground players — people like government-sponsored hackers from countries in eastern Europe, Russia, Iran and China — have allegedly breached some of the most sensitive systems in the US, like the Pentagon. It is to fight these enemies that the NSA and other US security agencies hope to build a hacker army.

“Today it’s cyber warriors that we’re looking for, not rocket scientists,” said Richard “Dickie” George, technical director for the NSA’s cyber-defense branch, in an interview with Reuters.

“That’s the race that we’re in today. And we need the best and brightest to be ready to take on this cyber warrior status.”

Problem is, many hackers live outside the law, or at least in its shadows; many are disestablishment players who believe that working for the US government is tantamount to surrender, or at least really lame.

Still, some hackers have crossed over to the other side. In fact, DEF CON founder Moss is himself now a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council. Plus, getting paid to do what you love is a luxury many in this world will never experience, especially when that thing involves high-level security clearance and serious national security issues that are straight out of an action movie.

Besides, says George, “we have a wonderful atmosphere, we have great people and we have the hardest problems on Earth. And we need help, the country needs help.”

Care to join?

[Image via]

Computing

4K is too hard and 1080p looks dull, so where are all the 1440p gaming laptops?

PC gamers have always known that 1440p is the sweet spot for visual fidelity and high frame rates. So why isn't 1440p a display option in modern gaming laptops?
Deals

Amazon hacks nearly $300 off the price of this 13-inch MacBook Air

Amazon is selling a 13-inch Retina display MacBook Air at nearly $300 off of its original price. In addition to a Retina display, this MacBook Air features 256GB of SSD storage and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Computing

The Keystone keyboard powers your typing or gaming with built-in A.I.

A new keyboard from Input Club, called Keystone, aims to improve consumer's typing response and accuracy by including an adaptive A.I. process in the hardware. By finding patterns in typists' behavior, it adapts for greater efficiency.
Deals

Protect your new Prime Day devices with IPVanish VPN, on sale until Sunday

If you scored a new device during Prime Day, then you'll want to protect your tech with a good VPN like IPVanish. IPVanish has extended its Prime Day week sale through the weekend, too, making now the best time to sign up and save 63%
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

PDF to JPG conversion is as quick as a few clicks with these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.
Computing

Listen up Apple: Here’s how to fix the Touch Bar once and for all

If you’re wondering what the point of the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar is, you’re not alone. We know it’s got potential, but it’s never managed to hit the heights of what it promised. Here’s what Apple must do to change it for the…
Computing

Gmail's unsend email feature is one of its best. Here's how to use it

Everyone has sent a message they wish they could take back. How great would it be if you could undo that impulsive email? If you're a Gmail user, you can. Here's how to recall an email in Gmail.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password whenever you want in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Computing

Lost without Print Screen? Here's how to take a screenshot on your Mac

Whether you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts or applications such as Grab and Preview, this guide will teach you how to take a screenshot on a Mac. Once you know how, you'll be able to capture images within seconds.
Computing

Converting files from MKV to MP4 is quick and easy. Just follow these steps

MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient for getting it done. In this guide, we'll walk you through them step by step.
Computing

Google Chrome 76 will stop websites from seeing users in Incognito Mode

Google Chrome 76 will implement a fix that will stop websites from detecting visitors who are in Incognito Mode. Google acknowledged that the change will complicate matters for publishers who have metered paywalls on their news websites.
Gaming

Be forewarned, these free MMORPGs will slay your spare time

Have ample time on your hands and an unquenchable thirst to beat, battle, and blast your way through worlds of fantasy and sci-fi splendor? Check out our picks for the best free MMORPGs.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.