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U.S. Cyber Challenge Recruits Hackers and Geeks Into Government


Sometimes it's nice to see the government admitting weakness -- and even better when it does something about it. Following President Obama's announcement in May that the U.S. was "not as prepared" as it should be against mass Internet attacks, the Partnership for Public Service has released a study suggesting a need for stronger security on the .gov sites.

The bottom line was articulated by Alan Paller, director of research at the network and security educational center SANS Institute. Paller explained to CNET: "Now we have people (in government) writing policies and reports about security rather than people who can do it. And we're getting killed." So on Monday, federal officials launched the U.S. Cyber challenge, a talent search for 10,000 young Americans who can be "cyber guardians and warriors." The prize: elite regional training, and a secured place at the NSA, FBI, Defense Department, or another high-profile government agency.

Three competitions make up the challenge, and the sponsor, the Center for Strategic & International Studies, pairs up each challenge with an external organization. The Air Force Association is seeking high school students for the CyberPatriot network defense competition, the Defense Cyber Crime Center is conducting the DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge, and SANS is helping out with NetWars, an exercise in vulnerability discovery and exploitation. For interested participants, registration has already begun.

If you ask us, the government's on to something here. Not only do these projects promise to protect our government, but they could also bring young, would-be-hacker computer geniuses over from the dark side. [From: CNET]

Tags: cyber security, CyberSecurity, government, hackers, news, NSA, top

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