- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Help wanted: Hackers.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the department is seeking skilled computer hackers — primarily college-age students — to help with the “new and rapidly growing threats” to America’s cybersecurity systems, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

They will be “hackers for good,” and will join a force of about 600 already being trained by DHS, Ms. Napolitano said, during Tuesday remarks to reporters.

The Air Force has an internship program for high-schoolers to hone their hacking skills, with the ultimate aim being to train them for work in the military’s Cyber Emergency Response Team unit, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Most “cyberwarriors” do go the military route, then move into the private sector, one Air Force official said.

“That’s a big concern, to be honest,” said Col. Kiley Weigle, the commander of the Air Force’s Cyber Training Unit, in the Christian Science Monitor report. “We have not, in my opinion, fully cracked that nut yet.”

DHS is hoping to capitalize on this skill set at an early age — thus, the recruiting reach-out to high-school students.

The agency is offering a “whole host of internships and fellowships for young people to get,” Ms. Napolitano said, in the Christian Science Monitor report. “We know there’s a market there.”