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IT powerhouse nurtures elite white hackers

Posted May. 15, 2013 07:20,   


"The country will directly foster the most elite white hackers (hackers with well-intentioned purpose)."

So said Yoo Jun-sang, head of Korea Information Technology Research Institute, at an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo Tuesday. At the institute`s education center in southern Seoul, he said, "Korea is an IT powerhouse, but it lacks manpower and infrastructure in information security," adding, "At a time when data security is important, nurturing white hackers is a way to develop creative economy."

Yoo was accepted for the second term as the institute`s head at the provisional board meeting Tuesday. His success in leading information, security, and personnel project after being inaugurated as the 9th head in September 2010 was well acknowledged.

The biggest achievement Yoo made after he took office was the next-generation leader fostering program, dubbed "Best of Best." As the government institution directly fosters elite security manpower, the program is an unprecedented model both domestically and externally. The program began education last year and selected 60 talented security workers with a 4 to 1 competition rate. "The average age of the selected people is 21. They are young and have ample potential," Yoo said. "As forces program, our goal is to foster them into top 1 percent white hackers.

Yoo plans to expand security personnel fostering business in earnest this year. He said, "On March 20, this year, Korea`s major broadcasting companies and financial institutions suffered cyber attacks. In response, the government doubled the related budget," adding, "We will increase the number of students joining the Best of Best project from 60 to 120 annually." The institute will also proceed with a public service of free examination of security systems by white hackers being trained.

"These young hackers need not only professional knowledge but also a proper value of the state and moral ethics," Yoo said. "They are important resources who will be responsible for state securities at government institutions including the National Intelligence Service.