After a couple of years turning cyber war into something which is worthy of the defence budget, the National Security Agency (NSA) has found the cash to expand US cyber expertise.
The NSA wants to build up secret intelligence operations against baddies on computer networks through a new cyber-ops program at selected universities.
According to Reuters, a new cyber-ops curriculum is geared to providing the basic education for jobs in intelligence, military and law enforcement.
Apparently the course is so secret they will only be revealed to some students and a faculty or two. You will need security clearance requirements and platform tickets.
Part of the NSA’s problem is that the best hackers are those who do not give a monkey’s about the establishment or have a criminal charge sheet.
Neal Ziring, technical director at the agency’s Information Assurance Directorate, said that “quality cyber operators” the NSA is looking for are few and far between.
NSA has to protect US government computer networks and to collect foreign intelligence through electronic means like satellites and decode it.
It was hard enough to find the right sort of university to back the programme too. Of 20 universities that applied, only four received the new designation of “Centres of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations”. In case you were wondering, these were Dakota State University, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Northeastern University and the University of Tulsa.
Most universities did not run courses in “reverse engineering” which made them like a chocolate teapot to the spooks.
Captain Jill Newton, who leads NSA’s cyber training and education programmes said that a lot of schools weren’t emerging with the technology, They just were not keeping up 007.