August 02, 2011, 2:25 PM —
So the plan is to hire some Houdinis, put them in a cage, and tell them not to escape, huh? Hope that's a really good lock.
If you spend a lot of your personal time hanging covertly around other people's roots, wearing a ridiculous mask to stay Anonymous, typing in leet or trolling in Tweet, you may already know that the U.S. government would like to talk to you.
You may not know that the years of confinement it would like to impose come with benefits, a pension and the chance to work on "the hardest problems on Earth."
They also come with a Black Suit and a neuralyzer, though no one will tell you that at this stage, because the agency most eager to hire more hackers is the NSA, once so secret and so widely denied the joke in D.C. was that its acronym stood for "No Such Agency."
Still, it's better than working for the CIA, which spends a lot more time out on the messy streets, talking otherwise inoffensive foreigners into committing treason, occasionally attacking remote hillside forts and being listed as OGA (other government agency) on maps of U.S. bases and facilities in war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and who knows how many other places?
You may know, if you go for one of the deals being offered by NSA, the DoD, Dept. of Homeland Security, NASA (!?) and other agencies that have realized the totally helpless position negligence has gotten the U.S. intelligence and defense communities into.
For the last two decades, rather than boning up on new cyberwar techniques and paying attention to the gaggle of users speaking Russian and mainland Chinese zipping past them in the virtual halls of the Pentagon's "secure" cyberspace networks, the DoD and intelligence agencies were preparing not for the last war, but for the one three or four wars ago (WWII).
Belatedly, they're realizing they need to catch up on what it means to fight a cyberwar – now that the constant penetrations and attacks by foreign governments on U.S. facilities now poses as much or more of a threat to the long-term security of the U.S. than either of the bloody tangles from which it has not yet extricated itself in the Middle East and central Asia.