US spy agency holds contest to find young hackers (Update)

Mar 15, 2013 by Kevin Begos

Bored with classes? One of the U.S. government's top spy agencies and Carnegie Mellon University want to interest students in a game of computer hacking.

Their goal with "Toaster Wars" is to cultivate the nation's next generation of cyber warriors in offensive and defensive strategies. The free, online "high school hacking competition" will run from April 26 to May 6.

The game is sponsored by the National Security Agency, which is responsible for code breaking and protecting the U.S. from cyberattack. NSA representative Vanee Vines said Friday that the U.S. increasingly needs professionals with highly technical cyber skills to help keep the country safe.

Last month, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said cyber attacks are "the battlefield of the future," and security experts said massive amounts of data and corporate trade secrets, likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars, were being stolen from government and corporate computers.

News of the contest came just days after the Obama administration's national security adviser called for China to take "serious steps" to stop cyber theft and after a top officer at the U.S. Cyber Command warned that the federal government and the private sector need to be more aggressive in building the country's cyber defenses.

Organizers of the hacking competition say they hope participants will see computer security as a career choice.

Explore further: Twitter takes note of other apps on smartphones

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Homeland Security and spy agency to work together

Oct 14, 2010

(AP) -- Computer experts at the secretive National Security Agency are teaming up with the Homeland Security Department in an effort to strengthen the nation's defenses against cyber attacks.

US adviser says cybersecurity must be joint effort

Apr 23, 2009

(AP) -- The challenge of protecting the government's computer networks is too big for any one agency to handle alone, a top adviser to President Barack Obama said Wednesday. That suggests the administration doesn't intend ...

Obama setting up better security for computers

May 29, 2009

(AP) -- America has for too long failed to adequately protect the security of its computer networks, President Barack Obama said Friday, announcing he will name a new cyber czar to take on the job.

US needs offensive weapons in cyberwar: general

Oct 04, 2012

The United States needs to develop offensive weapons in cyberspace as part of its effort to protect the nation from cyber attacks, a senior military official said Thursday.

Recommended for you

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

Nov 25, 2014

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urged governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

Nov 25, 2014

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Virtual money and user's identity

Nov 25, 2014

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.