You’ve probably seen the Air Force commercial where the young recruit, walking across an airstrip talks to the camera about his job in security. About how they defend our nation against electronic attacks and malware threats. These are some of the new cyberwarriors the military is falling all over itself to recruit.
In Melbourne, Florida, the New York Times reports, the private side of that (legitimate) military hacking is highlighted. The nation’s largest military contractors, including Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and others, are all vying to grab fresh new talent to fulfill their cyber contracts with the Pentagon.
These companies are looking for creative experts in cyber security: both hacking and designing countermeasures. Ads for “cyberninjas” are becoming common now.
A Raytheon office south of the Kennedy Space Center is home to dozens of engineers busily trying to crack the Pentagon’s computers. If they succeed, they don’t get arrested; they get bonuses and a new cappuccino machine.
Another part of the group’s mandate is to create virtual weapons that can be used to attack enemy systems.
Welcome to the cutting edge of the new battlefield.
“Everybody’s attacking everybody,” says Scott Chase, who is one of the managers of the Raytheon unit.
There is over $10 billion currently being spent by government on cybersecurity and that number is expected to rise considerably in the near future, potentially doubling as early as next year.
So in a time of recession, layoffs, and hard times for developers and engineers, one field of work is skyrocketing in growth and potential: hacking.