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Hackers Wanted for Cyber Fast Track

Monday, February 7, 2011 | 1:54 PM Leave a comment Go to comments

Calling all hackers – the Department of Defense may be looking for you.  But before you put your 1s and 0s into hiding, note that your efforts could add value to US Defense and to your wallet.

According to NextGov, the Department’s Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) has launched a new program called the Cyber Fast Track, which will recruit and compensate cybersecurity experts for their time and research.

But unlike other DoD programs (like the Department’s recent announcement of the public-private sector IT employee swap), DARPA’s new program intends to extend its recruiting reach beyond the realm of the typical, professional Internet expert.

Reaching out to “unconventional solutions,” the article reports that DARPA will solicit the help of “nontraditional players, such as hobbyists, startups and hacker spaces.”

So what’s the purpose for enlisting support from the hacker community?  According to the report, DARPA researchers found that while common, commercial defense applications use, on average, 10 million lines of code to execute actions and bolster security, an everyday hacker can usually crank out a piece of malware in a mere 125 lines of code.

Meanwhile, the US financial industry might also be on the hunt for hackers capable of a 125 line code-crack.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a computer network for the Nasdaq Stock Market was hacked into, allowing perpetrator(s) to access the organization’s “Directors Desk,” an internal program that allows board members and top executives to exchange confidential documents.

Over the weekend Frank DeMaria, a spokesman for Nasdaq, confirmed the breach, telling the Journal that “the company detected the security issue in October or November and reported it to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department.”

According to the report, “The motive behind the hacking penetrations is hard to determine because the hackers don’t appear to have manipulated or taken data from the system, but also because the origin of the attack is still unclear.”

For more cybersecurity news you may have missed, check out the following headlines:

A CSIS report: Cybersecurity two years later (CSIS)

Feds set deadline for Internet identity smart card program (InformationWeek)

Hill eyes Facebook on privacy (Politico)

Proposal for cyber war rules of engagement (BBC News)

Rep. Bartlett: US needs more geeks and nerds (Federal News Radio)

East-West Institute draws up proposals for cyberwar rules of engagement (InfoSecurity)

Cloud services could bolster national cyber security (NetworkWorld)

From Facebook to nuclear weapons, cyber attacks become more common (The Telegraph)

Report: Insider attacks expensive, but there’s a silver lining (CSO)

Ten conservative principles for cybersecurity policy (Heritage Foundation)

Video: US cyber warfare expert on threats which exist now (BBC)

Malware exploded in 2010 (Tech News Daily)


Sens. Lieberman, Collins & Carper release statement on cybersecurity meaure (Senate.gov)

Regarding ‘kill switch’: No, hackers can’t open Hoover Dam floodgates (Wired)

Senators decry link between Egypt, ‘kill switch’ bill (CNET)

Dilemma for US: Does net freedom trump security? (NPR)

Egypt move revives US ‘kill switch’ debate (AFP)

The Internet kill switch that isn’t (PC World)

Cybersecurity bill authors slam Egypt Internet shutdown (InformationWeek)

What is the best way to protect US critical infrastructure from a cyber attack? (Scientific American)

Internet kill-switch bill is ill-timed, ill-named, just ill (Examiner)


WikiLeaks cyber attacks: a tango with the Jester (Guardian UK)

SD part Of WikiLeaks cyber attack probe focus (CNN affiliate)


Egyptian censor-busting Moroccan website hacked (AFP)

Tunisian anonymous hackers to target Egyptian government websites (D&T Magazine)

Austrian registry freezes stolen EU carbon permits (Reuters)

William Hague: UK is under cyber-attack (BBC)

Hacktivists launch cyber war on Britain (PressTV)

Anti-Berlusconi hackers attack Italian government website (RIA Novosti)

Yemen denies cyber-attack on Saleh website (Emirates 24/7)

Cybersecurity a sham in India: Ethical hacker (Times of India)

Armenian IT specialists say local websites rehabilitated after Turkish hackers’ attack (Armenia Now)


4 firms vie for $200 million in Navy cybersecurity work (Washington Technology)

Lockheed contracted for grid security (UPI)

Jorge Scientific acquires FedConcepts (Washington Post)


GovSec Conference to educate law enforcement and gov’t officials on latest trends for protecting information, infrastructure and public safety (Press Release)

Virginia Agriculture teams up with FBI for Agroterrorism Conference (ABC News affiliate)

And stay tuned February 14-18, as Cybersecurity News will be reporting from the 2011 RSA Conference in San Francisco…

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  1. Tuesday, February 8, 2011 | 10:41 AM at 10:41 AM

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