Denmark’s official spy agency, the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (DDIS), is creating a training academy for hackers.
The agency has placed full-page ads in local newspapers and online asking, “Do you have what it takes to become a member of a secret elite force?” Specifically, that means hackers with well-developed programming abilities, math and logical intelligence, and a clean criminal record. And, according to Lars Findsen, the head of the intelligence service, “a high degree of personal integrity, because they will be handling secrets and sensitive information.”
He added that Academy recruits will spend four and a half months at the school starting in August, working on a range of defensive and offensive techniques. These include counterintelligence (breaking encrypted communications of the enemy) and hacking the networks of terrorists. In many cases, they will have the chance to use methods that would be illegal outside of the purview of government-led programs.
“When you have these unique talents, you want to use them and you have very special opportunities in our environment,” Findsen said.
At the end of their stint, the best and brightest will be offered positions in the Danish intelligence community.
“We are looking for people who have the core competencies that we can develop further,” Findsen said. “They don’t need formal education or qualifications. They can be natural hacker talents. More than anything they need to keep going until they have cracked the codes. There are no limitations.”
Advanced cyber-attacks against foreign services is not a rare sight. A report by the Investigation Unit of the Center for Cyber Security under the Defence Intelligence in Denmark recently revealed the details of a specific attack campaign that took place during 2015 and went on for more than half a year. In the seven months that the attack lasted, perpetrators sent 47 phishing emails from 21 sender addresses to nine different accounts of employees at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“This case is interesting because it very clearly illustrates why companies and governments need to take computer security seriously,” said head of the Center for Cyber Security, Thomas Lund-Sørensen. “We’ll never eliminate the human factor, but where we can, we need to do as much as we can. This is a task that must be addressed at both the management level, technical level and user level, and so it must be ensured that there is a high and continuous security awareness within the organization.”
SOURCE: Tara Seals