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Defense Expert: Hire Hackers and Wage War

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the institutionalized-anonymous dept.

The Military 157

Phoghat writes "A top defense and cybersecurity expert says the U.S. should stop trying to take aim at expert hackers and start doing a better job of recruiting them. 'Let's just say that in some places you find guys with body piercings and nonregulation haircuts,' says U.S. Naval Postgraduate School professor John Arquilla . 'But most of these sorts of guys can't be vetted in the traditional way. We need a new institutional culture that allows us to reach out to them.'"

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I got first post :P (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40654871)

I am guessing that culture doesn't want to be vetted, by any means, traditional or non-traditional.

Re:I got first post :P (3, Insightful)

oztiks (921504) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655037)

Want to reach the hacking culture? It's like hiring tribes people to help log the Amazon rainforest. Corporations should learn from the mistakes made in those senarios before even thinking of strategies such as this.

The irony here is although the Govt started the Internet as an official project, it has always rested on the shoulders of academics and the talent of the hacking community, corporations come further down the list.

Re:I got first post :P (3, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655463)

Want to reach the hacking culture? It's like hiring tribes people to help log the Amazon rainforest. Corporations should learn from the mistakes made in those senarios before even thinking of strategies such as this.

What the corporate MBAs would immediately deduce is that the tribespeople had been improperly incentivized, and should have been offered different shiny stuff. Numerous case studies would then be performed to find the optimum lowest-cost shiny stuff to offer to induce tribespeople to wreck their environment. Devastation of the rainforest would not be abated, while corporate profits and MBA bonuses would increase grotesquely for a few quarters.

Similar dysfunctional thinking would be applied to recruiting hackers.

There's NO opportunity (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655675)

Like the opportunity to destroy AmeriCIA from within!

Re:I got first post :P (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655873)

From what I see, if the US government has to reach to the hacking culture, they need to "atone" for Operation Sun Devil. Right now, at best, they can get contractors because of this. Unlike China where their citizens will happily go to a computer room and start doing their work.

The pogrom against Steve Jackson Games and other sites forever made any person with non-tivial skillz not interested in any way to work for the US, just for fear that they will be labeled a "terrorist" should something happened, and burned at the stake.

The US government needs to view blackhats and whitehats as the same as soldiers, and give them the same respect. No, a guy doing fake VoIP calls in order to get a network topology so he can scout it with nmap is not as awe-inspiring as a Navy SEAL who racks up body counts. But the guy at the keyboard is as important if not more to an operation.

Distrust and lie paved way to these hacks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40654873)

Most of these hackers inherently distrust the government, that's why they are hacking them. So what is the benefit in hiring them?

Re:Distrust and lie paved way to these hacks (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655351)

Principles can be overridden with money. Doesn't even need much. The benefit is that some of those hackers are very highly skilled, and they are used to not playing by the rules - which is good, because the enemies of the US won't be playing by the rules either.

That's the idea, anyway. I think in practice any good hacker (As opposed to a conventionally, formally trained engineer) is going to be driven half-crazy by the highly conformist military culture, and those that can stick with it are going to need constant micromanaging to keep them on their assigned mission ('You want me to disassemble yet another possible Chinese worm? BORING!') rather than using the available resources to do what they think is best ('Ohh, I'll write a virus that installs HTTPSeverywhere and blocks RST packets! That'll totally screw with China's filtering!').

Re:Distrust and lie paved way to these hacks (4, Informative)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655805)

No, principles can be overridden with ego. Real hackers are about the science. Hackers that are out to damaage things are about their egos. That's actually what mades hiring them fruitless. Once they get bored with the 'I work ops for the FBI' or whatever, they'll move on to, 'I'm a double agent' so and so forth etc...That's why instead of building things they find it much easier and gets them more attention to break things. No, they aren't good bets.

If this is about cyberwar, (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40654883)

I say it's awfully childish. Do we really want the Internet to be an unstable place? Because it's going to be so easy for others to retaliate, and the losers will be those who lose their rights.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (2)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 2 years ago | (#40654907)

Isn't that what the man wants?

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (4, Insightful)

ranton (36917) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655095)

I say it's awfully childish. Do we really want the Internet to be an unstable place?

It is far more childish to think that if we just play nice, everyone else will follow suit. The Internet will not be made secure by covering our eyes, crossing our fingers, and praying. It will only be more secure by making sure that those interested in its security have bigger "guns" than those interested in its instability.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655139)

Or by actually investing in secure technologies and practices. In real life, it's better to make sure those interested in security are well-armed because there's not much that can withstand a bazooka, but, online, it's very difficult to compromise communications encrypted with 4096-bt RSA.

tl;dr offense is easier in the real world than it is online.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655175)

Internet Security is a fantasy. Allowing anyone and everyone access to the network makes it almost impossible. I can't believe that servers with secure information would ever, under any circumstances be connected to something so untamed. For starters all my secure computers would never run a disk based operating system. The entire OS would reside in ROM and when it was time for an upgrade I'd burn a new chip. Expensive? Not as expensive as having 1.5 billion dollars worth of research hacked. I don't think network security is nearly paranoid enough.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655737)

The entire OS would reside in ROM and when it was time for an upgrade I'd burn a new chip. Expensive? Not as expensive as having 1.5 billion dollars worth of research hacked. I don't think network security is nearly paranoid enough.

What makes you think you're going to write an OS without a single security flaw that could be exploited?
Burning it to ROM is just ensuring the exploit lingers in the wild longer than it should.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655883)

It makes it impossible to rewrite the software. No worries that your files are infected. Flawed software can be rewritten and another ROM burned. But at least you know that any malware on the chip is your own.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (4, Interesting)

tenco (773732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655243)

If you hand out bigger "guns" and the internet becomes a warzone, everyone loses. The only way to keep it civilized is by handing out better "armor", making "guns" as ineffectual as possible. Since the military isn't interested in armor only and i don't trust them to use "guns" in a reasonable way (if there actually is one) i don't know why i should put me under their command.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655423)

Somehow I doubt that the USA are the ones interested in the Internet's security.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655695)

What do you mean "We", white man?

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655845)

I can see it now, the war finally winde up in the basement of a 'nuked' building and two groupls of stinky dirty people wark away frantically trying to hack the opponents computer connected by a single ethernet cable. They hurl insults at one another and chide and talk sepremecy of morals and ethics until all the sudden one of them trips on the cable and pulls it from the jack on the back of the computer. It's there they all freeze. Completely confused and not knowing what to do. And they stay there inanimate soiling themselves and pissing down their legs until they starve to death. Long story short? It's funny how addicted people have come to abstraction when it's so easy to wield a pair of wirecutters.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655219)

An organic system is inherently unstable - this is why the global network is so resilient against targetted attacks (such as wide-scale DNS poisoning [xelerance.com] , root name server outage [codeseekah.com] ...). The system will route around the dark spot. Whether or not it's "what the man wants" is irrelevant. If "The Man" wants the Internet to go dark permanently, all "The Man" has to do is cause a global, total and simultaneous blackout of every node, domain and name server, webserver - anything with a CPU and internet connection.

No biggy.

Re:If this is about cyberwar, (3, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655271)

Do we really want the Internet to be an unstable place?

What makes you think it's stable now? Although I think "Cyberwarfare" is more media drama than actual warfare, networks could be doing a lot more to make them more secure. We don't becuase, users. Users don't want inconvenience. Users don't want two passwords (one email, one login). Users want their desktop on their mobile device. Users want access to confidential data on the same PC their kids play on. Don't get me wrong, without users there's no need for a network but things have gotten way out of hand with security.

I think it's a good sign that some places in the tech industry are starting to realize they could be doing better. Maybe they will finally get around to listening to real experts instead of paid-for marketing shills.

Time to stop the backdoor culture (1)

hlavac (914630) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655533)

Problem with backdoors is, the insecurity points both ways - you can't have it secure just for you and insecure for others. Once you put the backdoors into everything, they are there, ready to be misused against everyone, including you, whatever noble puropse you thought they were to initially serve. Thinking nobody will find out is delusional. This will not end well :(

I've heard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40654899)

..finding what they care about and holding it ransom works well. Also I've heard that some nations don't consider waterboarding to be torture so that might be a further way to reachout. Or is 'reachout' not in the same classification as 'collateral damage' and 'illegal combatant'.

Re:I've heard... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655185)

Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out.

That's how they killed it. (3, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40654913)

Government sanctioned hacking will lead to enemy government retaliation, and then they'll take the internet as we know it to save us from those damn terrorists.

Re:That's how they killed it. (5, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655041)

It's sorta funny to read this type of bleating in a Slashdot article that appears on the same day as one that says the Chinese government has backdoors in 80% of Telecoms to sniff information.

Look, ya dumb sheep.

They are already waging war against us, enemy and "friendly" states already use their government resources to steal intellectual property and wage industrial espionage against the United States. You obviously don't actually run any internet-facing services or you would see this shit in your logs.

The fact that our government doesn't do it aggressively too is the odd part. It's time to man up and fight back or your children (assuming you manage to breed) will be speaking Chinese and working for Russian mobsters for a daily loaf of bread.

Re:That's how they killed it. (0)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655191)

Better dead than Red.

Re:That's how they killed it. (2)

BurstElement (1332791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655409)

Haha... you really need to take a good look and consider who are the sheep and who is the shepherd!
Do you honestly believe that the US Govt. doesn't have backdoors / access to backdoors in 99% of US telecoms tech?

Re:That's how they killed it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655471)

I remember the comments on that article about the Chinese backdoors saying that this claim is bullshit and and a complete extrapolation. Many people commented that the guy making that claim was just playing on our fears to get money for his company.

Maybe you should start questioning what you hear and stop believing everything you're told.

Re:That's how they killed it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655633)

Isn't that the same logic that Climate Change deniers use? Wouldn't it be more prudent to assume the worst case scenario and act upon it, since that worst case scenario has dire consequences?

Re:That's how they killed it. (3, Informative)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655687)

> The fact that our government doesn't do it aggressively too is the odd part

How do you know our government isn't already doing the same?
Look at Stuxnet... we have the capability.

Re:That's how they killed it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656967)

> The fact that our government doesn't do it aggressively too is the odd part

How do you know our government isn't already doing the same?
Look at Stuxnet... we have the capability.

Given the US government's recent penchant to crow about their cyber espionage efforts, if there were more than Stuxnet and Flame(r), I suspect the world would know of them.

Re:That's how they killed it. (0)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655947)

I can't figure out whether commenters like this are just dumb or funny. I would guess that it's both. How about I let you pay for your governments perpetual wars? I want no part of them, You can keep your government, too, while you are at it

Easy (4, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40654921)

Buy Blizzard. Threaten to close WoW account of said hacker. Et voila, you've got yourself a hacker that you can count upon! (Give them a free flying mount once in a while and you keep them happy too!)

This is nonsense. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40654931)

Some of the most talented technical people I know are also the most clean-cut and athletic. Some of the worst, show-offs who know the talk but little else, fall into your usual hacker stereotype with their appearance. I think the former is more realistic, and the latter is more romantic fantasy— brought on by people who idealize Gibson. In other words, why bother? The first group is more likely to give you a well-rounded individual who actually knows her material. The second group is a total crapshoot.

Re:This is nonsense. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655195)

I know a few nerds who are also fitness geeks but you're highly delusional if you think that most hackers fall into that category. Most of us are not fit, unhealthy, and are weird looking.

Re:This is nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655323)

You missed my point.

Re:This is nonsense. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655657)

The clean cut guy is clearly more of a conformist, likely less hostile towards authority, and because of that potentially less likely to be a whistleblower.

Re:This is nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656711)

Most of us are not fit, unhealthy, and are weird looking.

Most of the ones YOU know about. And that is because the government has been paying the fit, healthy, stable ones to stay out of the spotlight and work on classified projects.

There is a huge misconception that the majority of "hackers" are anti-authority social deviants. There are a vast amount of highly educated, professional, stable people who can do everything the deviants do and at the same time remain out of public scrutiny.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are not special. For every underground hacker, there *is* a more stable, healthy, better paid, and equally talented version already working for the government.

No trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40654933)

I have worked with some of these types. They for sure do not trust the government and the government could not and should not ever trust them.

Re:No trust (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655553)

Use them at arms length.

hackers (2, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40654945)

Most of those guys are clueless about the outside world so they may be hard to motivate. Maybe sex will work. Hire some hookers.

Re:hackers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655165)

I am only interested in the "interview" involve in cracking an encryption while getting a blow job at the same time.

Re:hackers (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655205)

Offer them free Mountain Dew and Skittles.

Re:hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656047)

Skittles? Are they black? Should we shoot them?

No.... not skittles... cheetos or doritos would be much more suitable for hackers.

Re:hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656313)

hash

It takes one to know one (4, Insightful)

cheros (223479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40654965)

The problem is that vetting the ethics of a hacker needs someone who has insight in the cultural framework as much as the technical capabilities of the person under review, and that is MILES beyond your average HR setup.

I know from my own experience that the best reviewer for tech is someone who is either a former hacker him/herself, or has a personality that borders on Aspergers. You cannot understand technical people if you do not have the required mental tools, and especially the brighter hackers do not exactly conform to the standard employee model.

So, use one to know one, and forget about your average corporate HR droid doing anywhere near a sensible assessment. Oh, and forget about standard management techniques either - not only does it take one to know one, it certainly takes one to manage them.

Re:It takes one to know one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655507)

Solution: Use the usual HR droids that tech companies use, but go through the discard pile of applicants instead.

Re:It takes one to know one (2)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655699)

> forget about your average corporate HR droid
So what you are saying is these aren't the droids we're looking for?

stereotypes (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40654979)

While we're at it, could we please also *not* assume that l33t hackers come only in one visual package (piercings, ink, etc.)?

Re:stereotypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655279)

could we please also *not* assume that l33t hackers come only in one visual package

Or that they're more competent than security professionals. Yea, there are a few who know what they're doing, but most are just copycat/script kiddies. Whoever wrote Stuxnet and Flame was way beyond the level of a l33t hacker, so I'm guessing at least one government already employs some very capable people.

Alternative (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40654993)

Or, instead of spending all that money on institutional reach out plans, why not kidnap their wife/son/grandma to entice them to work for you? You can lock them overnight in a room with no contact to the outside except for a 1994 style beeper and a blunt swiss pocket knife. Oh, and some chewing gum, an out of work WWE wrestler guarding the door, and a red Ferrari parked in the back parking lot. Trust me, details matter.

from hackers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655005)

FUCK YOU

Lets See... (3, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655019)

Take highly competent tech people who are generally speaking somewhat anti-authoritarian, give them the tools to do nasty things to the nations enemies via hacking, malware programming etc, and expect them to keep their mouths shut about it.
A lot of people don't trust the government - and often with very good reason - why would they want to hack for it?
How long until the complete log files of everything they and everyone they associate with are sent to Wikileaks?
Find technical people who are not anti-authoritarian and get them to do your hacking - just hire them for ability and knowledge rather than the traditional military virtues that most military organizations look for. In fact, hire them as civilian contractors and then keep them away from the rest of the military :P

Re:Lets See... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655229)

The people he is talking about hiring already have the tools. The trouble is they only want to hire the ones who haven't been using them illegally, and if they are good enough to be valuable it is hard to know if they have been breaking the law.

I suspect hacking took off among anti-authoritarians partially because it was a tool of asymmetrical warfare that could be wielded against governments. Now the government wants in on the action, China-style, except they've been systematically alienating the audience they hope to woo for the past 30-10,000 years. I've been shocked over the past 4-8 years to see how drastically the industry and government attitude on computer security have shifted. That said, despite the sudden increase in cognitive-dissonance-inducing cheese, the culture itself is still pretty much defined as a counter-culture.

The government has a hard sell asking the very minority they were racially cleansing less than a decade ago to help them fight a war. A new sucker is born every minute and if people don't have short enough memories to forgive the past, I guess they can always wait for a new generation to crawl out of their diapers in to Uncle Sam's arms.

Re:Lets See... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655557)

As you say, hacking started mostly among anti-authoritarians and borderline anarchists. People who were quite opposed to the government and the authorities.

These people will never work for the government. If the government ever manages to hire hackers with their skills, those government hackers won't be the anti-authoritarians - they'll be different people, who just happen to have the same hacking skills.

It also doesn't matter which generation the government recruits from. Every generation's anti-authoritarians will just try to stick it to The Man, although they will adapt. Today it's hacking, tomorrow it might something else (maybe vandalism - it's hard for the government to spy on people when every public security camera has been spray-painted or smashed). And the government will just be behind again and forced to adapt. And that's the beauty of it - the government is always going to piss off a group of people who have the right skills to fight back. This ensures that no government ever gets too powerful.

Re:Lets See... (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40656131)

How do these principles differ from the art of recruiting old-fashioned, y'know, spies?

Really really old idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655031)

I was in Summercon, Atlanta (1995). Chatted with many of the great hackers of the time, as well as many awesome specialists, legendary people truly. And it was already a consensus at the time. Internet, still in its infancy, wasn't understood properly by gov't forces, and they were ill-prepared, for their true assets, the hackers, weren't being used _with_ them, but instead were in a war _against_ them. That's not something you can learn at school, with the exception of some awesome teachers who are doing a great grunt work of really teaching hacking, even then, I heard of more of these teachers having to fight school administrations to keep their courses.

The idea seems to start to rub in, but it's 20 years late :) . I'm happy the article pushes the idea to the mainstream, though.

Same problem for both groups. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655061)

The problem with the Government hiring those "shady" hacker types is they have a hard time trusting them.

Ironically enough, hackers seem to have that exact same problem with "shady" Government types too.

No surprise a story like this comes out this close to Black Hat/DEFCON...again, it's not a matter of finding hackers...

And we'll wage a "kick ass" cyberwar.... lulz (1)

devforhire (2658537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655065)

So they want to hire the people that are currently at war with them. A good idea, but not very realistic.

Maybe they could try and pass some more laws like SOPA or dodge the democratic process with ACTA-like treaties and see if that drums up more recruits.

The people they will get will be the "retired," mediocre to average hackers who are now married and have too much too lose and can be bought with cool toys.

never going to work, ridiculous principle. (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655079)

you have to realize that many of the "cyber hackers" the government is eyeballing are the very same people that love nothing more than to leak classified data and hack into defense secrets solely because they view your establishent as the problem.

speaking as one of the the aformentioned non-regulation pierced guy, i can say that each time i hear a blowhard suit at the anything-department wax prophetic upon anything prefixed with "cyber," i roll my eyes, turn up the hardcore techno, and go back to writing that python interface for the communications receiver I bought on craigslist a few months back.

no one cares about the next war you're trying to sell america except the mouthbreathing walmartians in the sticks. the people youre trying to "reach out to" explicitly do not respond because they arent stupid enough to nod when told "be all you can be." as knowledge is power they understand enough about your institution to avoid it at all costs. all its done in the past 40 years is act as an engine of misery, destruction and sorrow across the globe.

Re:never going to work, ridiculous principle. (1, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655287)

"be all you can be" is not just a powerful message, it is a threat. Realise that what government is really saying there is that all you can really be is only achievable at this point if you are part of that government institution, and people that this message is aimed at cannot get government jobs as press secretaries, congressional staff or even regulators in an executive office. This is a threat and the reason government can issue it is because it is the very institution that creates the conditions, under which this threat is very much a reality.

Re:never going to work, ridiculous principle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656903)

Look, everyone, it's roman_mir with yet another instalment in his series, "The Gubmint Is Evil And Everything Would Be Just Peachy If We Got Rid Of The Evil Gubmint". Hooray!

Re:never going to work, ridiculous principle. (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655349)

"be all you can be."

knowing is half the battle

FTFY

What I just heard you say is that they need to stop putting out commercials and need to start producing more military-themeed cartoons with public service announcements embedded in them [youtube.com] , that way they can brainwash the next generation of kids to become adults who support the military.

Re:never going to work, ridiculous principle. (0)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655933)

Wait a minute. If your female, EMAIL ME PLEEEAAAZZEEE!!!! Hahahaha

The vetting has already occurred (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655977)

The vetting has already occurred ... but not quite in the intended direction.

The native experts of the net have vetted The Man and noted that he is the enemy.

Re:The vetting has already occurred (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656531)

Well said.

Transcending to a new paradigm (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40657083)

"all its done in the past 40 years is act as an engine of misery, destruction and sorrow across the globe."

Because it is ironic? http://www.pdfernhout.net/recognizing-irony-is-a-key-to-transcending-militarism.html [pdfernhout.net]
"Likewise, even United States three-letter agencies like the NSA and the CIA, as well as their foreign counterparts, are becoming ironic institutions in many ways. Despite probably having more computing power per square foot than any other place in the world, they seem not to have thought much about the implications of all that computer power and organized information to transform the world into a place of abundance for all. Cheap computing makes possible just about cheap everything else, as does the ability to make better designs through shared computing. ... There is a fundamental mismatch between 21st century reality and 20th century security thinking. Those "security" agencies are using those tools of abundance, cooperation, and sharing mainly from a mindset of scarcity, competition, and secrecy. Given the power of 21st century technology as an amplifier (including as weapons of mass destruction), a scarcity-based approach to using such technology ultimately is just making us all insecure. Such powerful technologies of abundance, designed, organized, and used from a mindset of scarcity could well ironically doom us all whether through military robots, nukes, plagues, propaganda, or whatever else... Or alternatively, as Bucky Fuller and others have suggested, we could use such technologies to build a world that is abundant and secure for all."

See also: http://www.pdfernhout.net/on-dealing-with-social-hurricanes.html [pdfernhout.net]
"This approximately 60 page document is a ramble about ways to ensure the CIA (as well as other big organizations) remains (or becomes) accountable to human needs and the needs of healthy, prosperous, joyful, secure, educated communities. The primarily suggestion is to encourage a paradigm shift away from scarcity thinking & competition thinking towards abundance thinking & cooperation thinking within the CIA and other organizations. I suggest that shift could be encouraged in part by providing publicly accessible free "intelligence" tools and other publicly accessible free information that all people (including in the CIA and elsewhere) can, if they want, use to better connect the dots about global issues and see those issues from multiple perspectives, to provide a better context for providing broad policy advice. It links that effort to bigger efforts to transform our global society into a place that works well for (almost) everyone that millions of people are engaged in. A central Haudenosaunee story-related theme is the transformation of Tadodaho through the efforts of the Peacemaker from someone who was evil and hurtful to someone who was good and helpful. ..."

This is why you will never be able to recruit them (1)

DerUberTroll (2676259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655091)

Because they fight against everything the government stands for = Oppression.

Re:This is why you will never be able to recruit t (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655585)

They seem to be having success in China, North Korea, and Russia.

No age rules, no boot camp, no medical disqualifie (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655135)

No age rules, no boot camp, no / limited medical disqualifies.

Why should some who say may be in a wheelchair not be able to do work like just because of having to go to boot camp or the same thing about age rules so you have long time pros come in that may be to old to pass boot camp.

Also there are smart IT people who don't have the mental mindset to handle a boot camp as well.

Re:No age rules, no boot camp, no medical disquali (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655403)

You expect inclusiveness from the US military? Up until quite recently, their policy was to kick out anyone they determined to be gay. Their policy on women is still to confine them to desk jobs, far away from combat. Perhaps it would be better to strip the DoD from all responsibility for internet security and assign such tasks exclusively to a new agency, answerable directly to congress. They'd work with the military and intelligence services, but not be part of them. No boot camp, no ranks, and a staff of tech-experts and intelligence experts rather than generals who got up the ranks by being good at killing stuff.

Re:No age rules, no boot camp, no medical disquali (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655599)

Just don't hire them as members of the military in the usual sense.

Re:No age rules, no boot camp, no medical disquali (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655931)

IT / Software folks arent that special, offensive network operations aren't magic, get over yourselves. Everyone in the military learns to function as an infantry man at least at a rudimentary level for a reason.

Re:No age rules, no boot camp, no medical disquali (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40656049)

so a IT / Software person in a wheelchair can't be part of this due to them not being able to be a infantry man???

Look at the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT.

Re:No age rules, no boot camp, no medical disquali (2)

i286NiNJA (2558547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40656913)

You can sign up for SPAWAR as a civilian... many SPAWAR employees end up becoming navy reserve officers and show up in uniform once a month so they can get extra money.

They're actively recruiting hacking events.

Do they want older hackers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655161)

I'm serious, because to-date I haven't seen much recruitment effort of 'seniors', you know, like, 40+ types. But I do see a lot, and I mean a lot of things to disqualify anyone that might apply, (for all the G-Jobs I see), even though folks might apply for all the right reasons. Even people older than 40, perhaps because of their inherit threat, but what do I know? They might even be so old as to be on medical marajuana in another state, and fear drug tests and a permanent stain on their future I.T./data center emplyoment record; and asking themselves, 'is it worth the effort to apply?'

And in case anyone is wondering, I'm willing to compete for my job dammit. Seriously.

Posted anon, but thank goodness after much time & effort learning new and up-to-date linux/web stuff, the job outlook in my I.T. sector is ultra-rosey. But I am serious, do they want older hackers and what will they do to get the best for the jobs being offered? Disqualifying a huge lot of experience doesn't seem wise or just; while I think loyalty can be relatively expected in return for the trust and relative security being offered. Especially when it comes to TCP/IP network security experience.

Since I am already posting anon on /., does it help I don't have a spousal unit to tie me down, and is anyone here even surprised by that? Honestly, how are people like me being actively recruited and allowed to qualify, and for what exactly?

Oh yeah, I am old at 50 already, with a longer background to check then most people perhaps, but I know where I.T. is going dammit and can seriously compete because I've been on-track for awhile. Can I be recruited for such a g-job?

older pros are needed as just haveing JR's (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655779)

older pros are needed as just having JR's is missing out on people with experience know that the book says this but in the real IT systems doing it this way works better in the good IT classes aka ones at community colleges and tech schools teach like that as well as a lot of them are IT pros and know what it is right.

Re:Do they want older hackers? (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655969)

Actually, if you understand what makes hackers, hackers... Then the threat of 'senior' staff is as follows. Most hackers, narcissist or not, put all of their effort in to one facet. They may be at the top for a few years but as soon as technology moves on so does their interest. They are stuck in the field they started in. It's that kind of commitment that drives a hacker in the first place, it's the same commitment that keeps them from moving to different fields.

Wait (4, Funny)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655203)

We need a new institutional culture that allows us to reach out to them.'

Cue MONTAGE featuring Cameron Diaz as cute "brutal" platoon sargeant yelling orders at misfis!

Re:Wait (1)

ozonearchitect (1290376) | more than 2 years ago | (#40656797)

LOL!!! Perfect :)

Again with the military (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655395)

I wonder if Americans realize that in most of the world, there aren't people constantly trying to find a new military technology or advantage, and the press doesn't talk about these things every day.

Re:Again with the military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655731)

America outspend the rest of the world on what it still calls "defense". It's aggressive Imperial overstretch typical for the end of an era. That rest of the world will not finance this spending spree indefinitely. However still dangerous and out of control while lasts. By the way wasn't it America objecting to "state sponsored terrorism"? Only ideological "American Exceptionalism" will argue that this is different. But those are the Neocons who are still maintaining that the US went to Iraq to create an strong democracy. Guess that Cheney's heart gave out when he heard that.

Re:Again with the military (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40656145)

America outspend the rest of the world on what it still calls "defense".

I wonder why. Could it be for the same reason that a jewelry store outspends a hot dog stand on defense?

Re:Again with the military (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655963)

Most of the world isn't English speaking, so what do you know about it? Just because you are European or some other nationality (economics considers EU a nation) doesn't really give you the right to speak for the world. Some of which (looking at you, China) are heavily invested in stealing corporate and gov't technology.

Defense contractors and military sources get pounded with millions of probes from other states each month. And employees are regularly spied on. A couple years ago a company had a bunch of classified information stolen by China from a backdoor passed in by a USB drive, given to them by a vendor at a conference.

You probably don't hear about these things if you don't work in the industry or if you aren't valued as a target, bu. This is the stuff we deal with on the day-to-day.

Source: I've work in cybersecurity.

I will take "cyberwar" seriously ... (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655477)

... when they recommend the US government move desktops off Windows.

Until they do that, they're not taking it seriously either. It's just a boondoggle to transfer money from the taxpayer to the military-industrial complex.

Re:I will take "cyberwar" seriously ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656045)

Let me guess, you want them to use Linux because it was magically written to be impervious to attack. A dollar say s I can crack your Linux box faster than you can crack win95, assuming you even have the skills to do that? Get past your bias.

He's got the culture clash wrong (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655643)

This presupposes that the cultural clash between the military and the hackers is about their fashion choices instead of being about devoting your life to the more efficient killing of other people in the pursuit of enriching the already rich and powerful.

He might want to think beyond allowing non-regulation haircuts and piercings.

Re:He's got the culture clash wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655951)

If you even knew a service member you would understand just how ignorant you are of our culture.

Re:He's got the culture clash wrong (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40657157)

Quiet right you can vet hackers the same way you do any one else - OK not all would be cool with the job and what is involved in being vetted for DV / TS. But any one who works in high end tech jobs is probably going to face the decision do I work on defense work. But this guy seems to have zero idea, Gary McKinnon FFS he was caught hacking into NASA looking for info on UFOs - this is a short step from the sort of people who post on Usenet claiming that the BBC is sending them secret messages via the medium of the TV news.

The problem is money. (1)

Harkin (1951724) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655843)

Last I checked I'd have a hard time considering most of the people arrested by the FBI "world class" hackers. The majority of Black Hat hackers are generally scriptkiddies. Most of the best (the ones who do it to see if they can) are either Grey or White already work for a security firm which pays FAR better then the government would. If the gov wants to hire the best hackers then they need to start offering better pay then giving the excuse âoeyou get the warm fuzzy feeling that your protecting your country, isn't that worth at least 20% or more?â

I don't trust people who are not open (2)

bodhisattva (311592) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655881)

Did anyone see "Catch Me If You Can"? True story. The FBI hired a master conterfeiter and con-man. Trust? Both the CIA and the FBI have vetted guys and moved them to high posts while they were working for the KGB. With a hacker you know what you're getting. They have to decide whether they want to protect their country from enemies, foreign and domestic. Don't expect them to jump on board with massive personal intrusion, expect them to go after bad guys. They have to accept that they are going to watched, tapped, bugged, whatever, as part of the job.

By the way, polygraph tests are a joke. Aldrich Ames had to take a ploygraph test. His KGB handlers told him not to worry, get a good night's sleep and be friendly with the testers. He passed of course. Anyone can beat it and with some mild drugs they might as well be giving the test to a corpse. Read "Telling Lies" and "Lie Spotting" and you'll be able to do a better job.

This is our expert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655975)

"[Arquilla] was also a consultant on the 1995 cyber thriller The Net, starring Sandra Bullock"

I don't know his other achievements, but I certainly wouldn't list this one.

A Key Realisation Has Not Occurred (1)

DaKong (150846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40655991)

People in the US government have clearly failed to realise it's futile to recruit hackers to fight the enemy because THEY, the US govt., are the enemy.

Hacker4Hire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656269)

We imprison our talent while other governments have already learned to embrace them...

Cyberpanopticon doesn't need hackers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656387)

The military-industrial complex wants to scare people into giving them money to protect them against "cyber" whatever.

The government wants to build out the CYBERPANOPTICON (a word I just coined!) to monitor everyone. They're doing it in the name of the Unholy Trinity, protecting people from copyright infringement, child porn, and terrorism. Later, once the cyberpanopticon is in place, they can use it for anything else they want.

Where do hackers fit into this!?

stuxnet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40656487)

They are doing just fine.

Radical Dude!!! (1)

ozonearchitect (1290376) | more than 2 years ago | (#40656779)

Oh wow, really dude? They're going to do like all the dozens of movies that have portrayed this kind of stuff already? Cool dude!!! What a joke the propaganda BS media has become. Very very insulting to our intelligence indeed.

Huh? (1)

ozonearchitect (1290376) | more than 2 years ago | (#40656817)

So it's a heinous act of war if it's done to the US (which it has been countless times already unknowingly to the public), but it's business as usual if we do it to other countries? Gotcha.
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