US Homeland Security seeks 'young, college-age hackers' to help counter cyber threats

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 27, 2013 07:20 hrs

The US Department of Homeland Security will hire hundreds of young, college-age hackers to counter an alarming number of daily incursions into the nation's electrical grid and financial networks, according to a report.

According to DHS head Janet Napolitano, this will be "hackers for good," and the department currently has a need for about 600 of them.

The need to develop a skilled cyber workforce has been a common, and formidable, challenge for a number of US government agencies, including DHS and the Pentagon, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

That's because most skilled "cyber warriors," as the US military calls them, often get recruited by private industry after their service commitments are up, the paper said.

According to Napolitano, at DHS, young hackers, who have not yet entered the job market, potentially "have a bunch of different skill sets" to offer the country.

She added that DHS is launching "a whole host of internships and fellowships for young people to get," and noted that the department recently had "over 3,000 kids compete for 60 billets" in one such program.

The department also recently conducted a workforce analysis to "look at what cyber skills we need in our department," she added. (ANI)

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