Can you access protected networks without breaking a sweat? Does just thinking about security exploits get you hot and bothered? Are "spoofing" and "packet sniffing" part of your regular vocabulary? If you answered "Yes" to those questions, and you can prove your hacking prowess at the upcoming DEFCON convention, you may just wind up getting a job offer (and a pension plan) from government agencies like the NSA.
Seeing government agents trying to awkwardly fit in at DEFCON is nothing new, but this year the NSA's heading to Vegas with big recruiting numbers to fill. Reuters reports the agency's looking to hire 1,500 new employees – most of them cyber geniuses – by the end of September, then another 1,500 by the following September. They want to put a dent in that number and identify hot up-and-coming hackers at DEFCON.
"Today it's cyber warriors that we're looking for, not rocket scientists," Richard George, the technical director of the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, told Reuters. He explained there a big upsides to working for the NSA, but there's also a downside that could turn attention-seeking lulz-alikes away from the agency: ""We have a wonderful atmosphere, we have great people and we have the hardest problems on Earth. And we need help, the country needs help... You're not going to make yourself famous working here, that's the downside. You can be internally famous, but you can't be externally famous."
The usual mish-mosh of other government agencies will be there as well, including the DOD, NASA, and the CIA. If you're a white hat hacker looking for generous health care benefits, you better bring your game face to DEFCON 19 at the Rio Hotel and Casino between August 4th and 7th. Why not bring your kids while you're at it?