Instead of prosecuting hackers, the US government is hoping to wrangle these people into working for the US government. Organizers of the event called the US Cyber Challenge, invited 10,000 of America’s best computer whizzes in an attempt to persuade them from illegal activities and turn them into security “top guns.” A similar conference is planned for next year in Britain.
Entrants are asked to play a series of video games to highlight their potential hacking skills. Using games to look at the kids’ abilities, the kids are asked to analyze hard drives, collect evidence, and extract passwords from the computer.
If eventually recruited, they could earn up to six figures from the US government.
“Government and business need more and better security experts to protect intellectual property and business continuity and keep private communications private,” Judy Baker, a security consultant and organizer of the UK branch stated.
The winner of the first US Cyber Challenge was 17-year-old Michael Coppola from Connecticut. What sealed the deal was his ability to break into the scoring system to award himself 10,000 extra points.