Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Open Source & Hacking Communities and National Defense

The open source and hacking movements have now spread into every industry – including defense.

Well over a decade ago, when I was the Director of the VA National Center for Information Security (NCIS), I was interviewed for an article on information technology (IT) security by a major news magazine. I remember saying that in the next major war, the first series of battles would be fought in cyberspace. That turned out to be very true, as we saw in the Iraqi Wars, and will hold true if we are ever faced with another global war.

So it was not unusual to me to see a number of recent stories about the NSA, DoD, and other government agencies attending the DefCon Hacking Conferences and hear that they are busily hiring hackers to come work for them. The authors of these stories expressed some surprise that this was happening. However, I saw nothing surprising in this. In fact, it seemed very practical to me.

The U.S. is simply in the process of building up its capability to conduct cyberwarfare – preparing for the next major conflicts around the globe. It just makes sense. China, Russia, and many other countries are doing the same. However, it does seem a little strange to realize that the open source and hacker communities, often belittled or attacked by government agencies in the past, may be the key to our national defense in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment