Mom and Dad… I want to be a hacker when I grow up!”

What if your child said this to you?  What would you do?  I would ask them which kind.

Yes, which kind. If they said a white hat hacker I would not only say yes but I would try and help them. If you don’t know what a white hat hacker is, they are the good guys. In today’s society (at least to me) white hat hackers are the fireman, solider, policeman, etc. that we use to say when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

hacker 2White hat hackers, cyber warfare teams, etc. are truly our frontline in defense of not only our corporate networks but our country’s infrastructure as well. In recent articles that I have read and posted our government has begun to take seriously the threat of a “take down” of the USA’s infrastructure to the point that our cyber posture is no longer defensive only. We are attacking. We are actively hunting down and putting the bad guys out of commission.

To see for yourself use your favorite search engine and type “cyber warfare jobs”. There are plenty of opportunities for employment but you have to have very specialized skills. One of these (in my opinion) is paramount. You have to think like a bad guy hacker known as a black hat hacker. I have been reading “Hacking Exposed” by Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, and George Kurtz. Stuart McClure’s mantra is “Think Evil, Do Good”. Just as in military warfare you have to know your opponent to beat your opponent. In this book there is a quote from Sun Tzu the author of “The Art of War” which was written several centuries ago:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”

I have had the opportunity to get to know some world class white hat hackers. It is an amazing world in which they do business.  What I have found already is deep down inside me there lives a white hat hacker. By no means do I claim to be at their level but I found that this is a calling for me. I want to know what a black hat thinks. I want to know how to stop them dead in their tracks.

Whether we choose to believe it or not America is in a “World War”. Every day there are teams of elite cyber warriors defending our cyber borders and attacking the borders of those that would do us harm in the comfort of a climate controlled office. Make no mistake… This is warfare. History shows us what happens if a cyber-event happens. Stocks tank, power goes off, etc. So if you child wants to serve this country as a white hat hacker I say more power to them.

Fred Gordy

Fred Gordy

Fred Gordy is the technology evangelist for the McKenney's Enterprise Intelligence Group and is responsible for the technology strategy for the Automation & Control Solutions team. Fred has focused on control system cybersecurity for the past few years and has built a network of cybersecurity professionals to grown knowledge for the control system at large. He is also the current chair for InsideIQ's cybersecurity committee. Fred's portfolio includes projects with Chevron Energy Services at Eglin Air Force Base to reduce operating expense through real-time analysis as well as developing secure power monitoring systems for a national IDC, a national retail chain, and an international media company. - See more at: http://blog.mckenneys.com/2014/05/can-your-garage-be-classified-as-critical-infrastructure/#sthash.VSKYeAtT.dpuf

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Comments

  1. Doz says

    I agree with you that if my child was to ask me that question and they said White hat.
    I would support them in every way I could.

    I have been around White hats and they are wonderful people.
    I have seen the other side too and it is not pretty.
    Thank you for sharing your post.

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