Feeds

For security's sake! Send your kid to hacker camp

No easy fix for doom and gloom

SANS - Survey on application security programs

RSA A computer security expert has called on the United States government to train the nation's youth in offensive and defensive cyber technologies so the country is less vulnerable to attacks on its critical infrastructure.

"We need to really encourage young people, high school kids, college students, to embrace cyber security as a field," said Ed Skoudis, founder and senior security consultant for InGuardians. "I'd like to see the United States from a policy perspective engage in...sponsoring hacking challenges to not make it seem like it's an evil thing. Set summer camps to learn more about offensive and defensive technologies and have mentor-ship and sponsorship."

Countries including China and South Korea already sponsor hacking challenges that are designed to identify kids with computer skills, Skoudis said. He said the push in this country should draw lessons from the Soviet Union's launch of the Sputnik missile. The US responded by plowing huge resources in to training for science and engineering.

Skoudis's comments came during a panel on Thursday at the RSA security conference that drew parallels between the cold war and cyber threats the US faces from nation states, terrorist groups, and criminal hacker gangs. Although a full-blown war involving US networks has yet to happen, smaller skirmishes are already under way, the panelists said.

"It's not about the destruction of physical assets," said Ed Giorgio, president and co-founder of Ponte Technologies and a member of a commission that spent 18 months drafting recommendations for the US's 44th president to shore up its critical infrastructure. "It's about espionage and gaining some sort of information advantage, and frankly I don't see the right response."

The comments come amid multiple reports that networks critical to US national security have already been breached. Last year, the CIO for the Department of Defense conceded that an intrusion on the agency's computers resulted in the theft of an "amazing amount of data" that continued to put the country at risk. Other breaches have involved the US power grid, and Pentagon plans for one of its top fighter jets.

During a speech Wednesday at the RSA conference, Melissa Hathaway, acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security councils, said the risk was palpable.

"I worry about these questions every night," she said during a talk that was short on specifics and long on platitudes. "They infiltrate my dreams."

The Obama administration is expected to announce a comprehensive plan for responding to the threat in the next week or so.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.