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Government courts hackers in an attempt to improve cyber security defenses

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, August 02, 2011

While the federal government has been overwhelmed by the proliferation of high-profile cyber security threats this year, officials are continuing to work on plans to overhaul critical infrastructure protection (CIP) measures, as well as other smart grid cyber security protocols. According to a published report, the government is hoping to court some of the very people it has been chasing over the past year.

Reuters reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) is moving to attract hackers who have delighted in exploiting the computer security networks of many businesses and portions of the government over the past few years. 

According to the news provider, the NSA is recruiting hackers to crack some of the "hardest problems on Earth" as it works to overhaul its own cyber security initiatives and improve the efficacy of government computer defense networks. 

Cyber security hackers are in high demand currently, according to industry experts, as government officials hope to convince them to use their brilliant understanding of complex computer systems for good - rather than evil. 

Along with the NSA, many other government organizations like the Department of Defense, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security are endeavoring to recruit hackers to help them test and develop cyber security defense systems that will effectively protect exceedingly important data.

The development of the smart grid has left many questions unanswered as experts have questioned whether utilities are prepared to protect their computer networks from exceedingly complex cyber security attacks. 

The government hopes to create the most comprehensive and sophisticated cyber security network of any country in the world, and hackers could play an instrumental role in developing such a system, industry experts affirm.

This week in Las Vegas, the hacker convention Defcon takes place, according to a report from CNET. Many government agencies will be in attendance, according to the news provider, and they are hoping to convince some of the brilliant minds there to fight for the 'good' guys. 

"Today it's cyber warriors that we're looking for, not rocket scientists," NSA Information Assurance Directorate technical director Richard George asserted. "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." 

In the fiscal year that ends September 30, the NSA is hiring about 1,500 workers. It plans to hire the same number of new workers next year, with the majority of them being cyber security experts. 

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