Jobs for the naughty boys


Helen Martin

Virus Bulletin, UK
Editor: Helen Martin


UK's cyber security minister recruits team of former hackers.

Lord West, the UK’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Security and Counter-terrorism, raised the hackles of security experts last month when he outlined some of the steps taken to beef up the UK’s cyber defence strategy. Lord West claimed the UK was ahead of the rest of the world in its cyber security strategy, and went on to reveal that the government had recruited a team of former hackers for its new Cyber Security Operations Centre. In an attempt to justify the appointments, he said that the government had not employed any ‘ultra, ultra criminals’, but would be calling upon the expertise of former ‘naughty boys’.

Commentators across the security industry have questioned the wisdom of employing former script‑kiddies (a group whose technical abilities have never been hailed as anything other than flaky) and giving them responsibility for national security. What appears to be lacking in the cyber defence strategy outlined so far is any attempt to harness the expertise of those who really know what they are talking about – seasoned computer security professionals.



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