U.S. is recruiting hackers to protect the country from foreign cyber attacks.
After having suffered the greatest series of cyber attacks on U.S. records, government officials reached a conclusion: the security had failed. The most powerful computer system in the world has proved to be fragile. Looking for solutions , the Defense Dept. began to turn to Internet users who have always lived outside the law: the hackers.
Mudge (right) with Grandmaster Ratte' at DEF CON 14, August 2006
According to a report from CNN, a project manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – DARPA (the original developers of Internet) has confirmed that the Defense Department will begin to fund hackers to help make systems more secure in the event of a new cyber attack.
Peiter Zatko , a well known hacker acting in the intricacies of the cyber space with the alias “Mudge” during the 90´s , worked for the private sector and other government agencies until 2011, but now Mudge is working for DARPA , and that is just the beginning of a program leaded by former hackers backed by the U.S., called the Fast Track Cyber.
Zatko or “Mudge”, said to the Defense Dept that the number of attacks will increase, even with the natural increase of investment in security systems. In 2000 there were 1,400 “incidents of malicious cyber activity,” but nine years later that number had increased to more than 71,000, he said.
There are many hackers who claim that their activities serve the public interest, since they help to notice flaws in the system whose existence is unknown. The logic used by these web security “experts” is clear: if they (hackers) can intrude without major problems, those who are looking for secret information or money, can also hack any current system.
“The current systems are unnecessarily complicated, which makes them more susceptible to a malicious intrusion” confessed Zatko.
The Government is now trying to change its policy with regard to security systems. More and more government agencies are trying to convert these “underground hackers” into experts working for Washington. A measure that is still being viewed with some suspicion by the hacker community, known for its codes and rules of its own and has always lived on the margins of society, both by choice and consequence. But change is already happening.
“I hope the old Mudge of 1999 will take a look at 2011 and say: Yes, my hair is hort now and I use cuflinks. But yes, still faithful to the cause.”
This task is not impossible for the U.S. agencies. It happened before. Many of those agents who where recruited were liberals and idealists, with a profound sense of patriotism, and finally became among the best agents the U.S. ever had. RETURN TO HOMEPAGE.