Feeds

'Hack Idol' to find top UK cyberwarriors

Wouldn't trust the phone voting

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The UK government has launched plans to find the best young hackers through a talent competition.

Would-be cyberdefenders will be rated on their abilities to thwart attacks and hack into websites. Winners will be offered courses by the respected SANS Institute and assigned mentors.

University course and work placements also form part of the putative programme, due to take its first intake late next year, The Times reports.

Hack Idol may be a catchy concept, and it's easy to see how eccentric security minister Lord West - who famously reckons reformed naughty-boy hackers might play an important role in Britain's cyber-defence - might get sold on the idea.

In addition, there's a precedent from across the Atlantic. The UK scheme resembles the much larger US Cyber Challenge programme which is "looking for 10,000 young Americans with the skills to fill the ranks of cyber security practitioners, researchers, and warriors".

The winner of the first US Cyber Challenge was Michael Coppola, 17, of Connecticut, who gained plaudits for breaking into the scoring system and awarding himself extra points - a move straight out of cult haxploitation flick WarGames.

Sounds like good fun, but the idea of taking the now-ubiquitous TV talent show/glorified karaoke concept and applying it to computer security to find the next Neo sounds more than a little wrong-headed.

Chris Boyd (aka Paperghost), a security researcher at FaceTime, responded to the idea by saying the UK might just as well use a "complex system of water divining, Pagan ritual and astronomy to find the best hackers". ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.