Offensive Government Hacking

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Offensive Government Hacking

Rather than simply pursuing cyber deterrence, governments are going on the offensive.

Last year marked the tenth anniversary of the U.S. and Israel joining forces to deploy a devastating worm known as Stuxnet, which took down parts of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. Rather than simply pursuing cyber deterrence, governments are going on the offensive.

Singapore’s Ministry of Defense is hiring white hat hackers and security experts to look for critical vulnerabilities in its government and infrastructure systems.

In the U.S., the two agencies responsible for cyberwarfare—the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency—are playing offense, especially as artificial intelligence becomes a focus for U.S. cyber strategy. But there is a data scientist shortage globally, and it’s especially hard for the government to attract gifted hackers to public service. That’s due in part to a bad public image in the wake of Edward Snowden.

To make matters worse, with a severe shortage of domestic cybersecurity workers—there are roughly 270,000 unfilled jobs in the field—skilled hackers can command perks and big paychecks in the private sector.