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6 select `white` hackers to help improve nat`l cyber defense

6 select `white` hackers to help improve nat`l cyber defense

Posted July. 03, 2012 00:22,   


The government will foster six IT security agents to supervise national cyber security in the belief that cyber warfare can be won by a single genius, not numbers.

The Knowledge Economy Ministry and the Korea Information Technology Institute have launched the “Best of the Best” program, which selects six "white (goodwill)" hackers by March next year with a budget of 1.9 billion won (1.66 million U.S. dollars).

Each of the six will be in charge of six areas: cloud computing security; mobile phone security against hacking of smartphones; converged security that blocks both cyber hacking and attempts to sabotage offline government facilities; vulnerability analysis; and digital forensics, or collecting evidence of cyber hacking; and security consulting providing legal and policy advice on IT security.

The government last month screened and interviewed 238 highly skilled hackers and narrowed the field down to 60 candidates. Six will be chosen in the end like a TV audition program, and receive a scholarship of 20 million won (17,500 dollars) and the chance to study abroad.

The six hackers will be included in the pool of human resources for government agencies in charge of cyber security such as the National Intelligence Agency, the National Police Agency and the Cyber Command and get assistance in joining IT security companies. The candidates range from high school to graduate students, and even include one of the most famous hackers in the country.

The diverse curriculum will have the six hackers apprenticed to experts in different areas and learn foreign languages given that many hacking attempts are from overseas. Ethics education will also be included to prevent misuse of hacking skills.

Yoo Jun-sang, director of Korea Information Technology Institute, said, “Korea has excellent IT infrastructure and is prone to cyber attacks, but has weak security human resources. This is why we planned the program.”

Korea has a small number of IT security experts in the country, according to a survey on the IT security industry, which was conducted by Korea Internet Security Agency last year. The nation is known to have the thickest layer of entry-level experts followed by middle, upper, and expert-level experts.