Government Recruits Geeks to Blunt Cybersecurity Threats
By Joshua Kucera
The U.S. Cyber Challenge aims to identify 10,000 patriotic geeks and make them experts
The potential threats against
Russian hackers -- probably with Kremlin support -- have attacked Internet sites in pro-
It's the kind of shadowy, nonstate threat that the U.S. defense and intelligence bureaucracies are traditionally ill equipped to fight, but a new initiative announced last week aims to try.
A consortium of government agencies and private organizations has set up a series of competitions, called the U.S. Cyber Challenge, to
identify up to 10,000 patriotic geeks and then nurture them to become "top guns," as the Cyber Challenge organizers call them, at the Pentagon,
"People in the Pentagon know that the guy who looks good in a flight suit and can do 100 push-ups isn't necessarily the guy who will be
the world's best hacker," says
President Obama's announcement in May of a new cybersecurity initiative, including a cybersecurity coordinator who will report directly to the president, showed that the administration recognizes the threat from foreign hackers.
"In today's world, acts of terror can come not only from a few extremists in suicide vests but from a few keystrokes on a computer -- a weapon of mass disruption," Obama said in announcing the program.
But two months on, the coordinator has yet to be named, and there is no information about the budget the office will have. "There are still huge questions about what it's going to do," Shachtman says.
And the Cyber Challenge only highlights a huge handicap
A hacker wants "to align with the underdog against the big, bad U.S., and it's going to be hard to reverse that," he says.
And there are signs
Secrets to Saving Your Laptop and Data
Consumers now buy more laptops than desktop PCs, relishing the power they pack in a portable package. Thieves relish laptops for the same reason. The overwhelming majority of lost or stolen notebooks don't make it back to their owners, according to FBI and analyst reports. But a few laptop-luggers take steps to protect their investments, or the even-more precious data they contain.
Cyberwar Is the New Atomic Age
Mike McConnell Interview
A level of vulnerability has been introduced into our way of life that is unprecedented. We now have a smaller connected globe where information can be moved in seconds, where information managed by computer networks -- which runs our utilities, our transportation, our banking and communications -- can be exploited or attacked in seconds from a remote location overseas
The iPhone and I
By Mark Bazer
Well, it was nice knowing my family, but now I've got an iPhone. For the uninitiated, the iPhone is the cell phone + iPod + organizer + portable game console + friend when you're at a party and no one is talking to you and you've already peeled off the label on your beer.
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