US Seeks 'Ethical Hackers' to Combat Cyber Threats

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2009 11:55 AM CDT
US Seeks 'Ethical Hackers' to Combat Cyber Threats
Power lines.   (AP Photo)

To combat the rising threat of attack on the nation’s computer networks, the US government is turning to the dark side for help, the AP reports. A call has gone out for so-called “ethical hackers” who “think like the bad guy” to work with Homeland Security to identify and counter threats to the nation’s infrastructure. The Pentagon also said it would ramp up the training of cyber experts from 80 to 250 a year.

The move comes after President Obama ordered a 60-day review of the security of government data and systems. “We're clearly not as prepared as we should be,” one official said, and the weaknesses spill over into the nation’s electrical grid, transportation networks, and financial systems. Last week it was revealed that hackers had infiltrated the electric grid and left behind disruptive programs. (Read more hacker stories.)

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