Spy, Defense Agencies Recruit Security Talent at DefCon

Federal law enforcement, military, and intelligence agencies sent representatives to one of the world's biggest hacking conventions, in part to recruit gifted computer security aficionados to join the United States government and military ranks.

Recruiters from the National Security Agency, Defense Department, and FBI were among the spy, military, and police agencies a DefCon, a recent gathering of hackers in Las Vegas. Hackers and computer security professionals were the majority of the 6,000 people that took part in the conference.

In a presentation at the conference, NSA vulnerability analysis chief Tony Sager said the super-secret signals analysis agency was sharing information with the public more and more in an attempt to ally themselves with the computing cognoscenti. But he was not optimistic.

"I'm not sure I can convince them to trust me; I think we are part of a larger community," Sager told Australia's The Age newspaper. "In the old days it was about what we found was really precious  because what we had was all there was. Now, it's less important what we find and more important what everybody finds."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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