United States wants to recruit children in cybersecurity war

Last year, India swooped itself in search of what it called an elite team of cyber security experts, not just for security but for the offensive too. The US is waking up and smelling the e-napalm in the morning, conducting its own search to find 10,000 to join cybersecurity ranks.

Instead of offering enticing pay packages from existing agencies or IT professionals as in India, the US initiative is tapping talent at its own high schools by way of a competition.

The “US Cyber Challenge Cyber Foundations” competition began this week, plugged by not-for-profit Center for Internet Security. It has support from Senator Thomas Carper, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee. He says if America is going to stand up to the growing security threat “we must focus on the next generation of Americans to make sure they have the skills necessary to defend our country.”

Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin was roped into support too – saying that the States has to pick them young to “develop a competent workforce that can support the needs of securing our cyber networks, which is quickly becoming a national priority.”

Winners in the competition, which will mainly consist of timed quizzes on network security, will get prizes and introductions to members of government and industry top dogs. The lucky 10,000 may or may not find an easier pathway into security careers but at least in this war you sit in the relative comfort of a dingy government office rather than eating compressed processed meat in a hellish desert.