DefCon, the underground hacking convention, begins on the 4th. Aside from require no names, and a measly $150 entry fee, it’s known for attracting over 10,000 attendees last year. That’s 10,000 people who have a fairly large interest in security measures, and how to defeat them. So what’s a national government to do?
Why, offer them the biggest challenge they can think of, of course. The NSA is interested in hiring 1500 people in the next fiscal year, with a possible 1500 the next year. They are looking for experts in cyber security. More experts, that is.
According to Richard “Dickie” George, technical director of the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate, the NSA already has a huge collection of geeks at its disposal. “When I walk down the hall there are people that I see every day and I never know what color their hair’s going to be,” George said. “And it’s a bonus if they’re wearing shoes.”
It’s good to see that the government is willing to accept that suits and ties don’t equal knowledge, and are equally as willing to recruit those who might otherwise be working against them. George states that the competitive nature of hackers actually helps the recruiting effort. By offering them bleeding edge technology and challenging them to finding threats similar to “needles in a haystack,” they’re appealing to their competitiveness, as well as offering them a challenging work environment and stable pay. Oh, and the fact that they don’t have to worry about arrests.