Academia: Government's Biggest Cyber Security Ally?
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Christian "Ian" Bryant,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2014 | 12:47:41 PM
Re: Tit for Tat
@David F. Carr

Not to steal thunder from @PedroGonzales (I'm going to like his response, I feel it), but I understand that there is not one "box" for every thinker, so if some kids want it, and they can benefit long-term from it, and it is their passion, I think leaving college to hack for the government is fine.  Especially if that talent and the knowledge obtained by that hacker had nothing to do with their college experience.  But I absolutely abhor the thought of only a limited percent of talented kids being able to even get to college to have that choice.  I'm not saying every poor smart kid who can't get a good education is going to become a criminal, but I know for me growing up very poor, I got off on the wrong foot due to the kids I hung out with, and what they all thought was the best use for my talents. 

And it isn't all about money, either - it's academics not acknowledging the wide variety of learning styles.  If education was more accessible to everyone, there would be more minds to choose from in the pool of talented hackers.  Maybe those who have what it takes to do the Ph.D could be left to do so, and those who aren't quite cut out for that could step out of college to do what they are best at.  But the current infrastructure for education 1) costs too much and 2) is not academically lenient such that companies and government agencies looking for talent may not be finding the innovators they really need to move forward.  Until, that is, they encounter them on the black hat side of the industry...


David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/13/2014 | 11:10:14 AM
Re: Tit for Tat
So should the government be recruiting the really smart college students to drop out and start hacking right away?
User Rank: Strategist
6/13/2014 | 7:45:25 AM
"Sea Change" required

there are two fundamental changes in thinking needed in the IT industry, if there is any wish to establish trust.

First, it must be understood that the software must be protected from un-authorized modifications before there can be any meaningful discussion of encryption or protecting transactions and data-bases. This is noted in Phil Zimmerman's original documentation on PGP back in 1992. It's not something I made up.

Second the pen&ink process we have used for authentication of documents in our paper based systems does not work in a digital network environment. we must learn to use PGP and to establish trust models using public keys. again this is not something i made up. it's mentioned by Whitfield Diffie in his testimony for New Egg in their proceedings v TQP Holdings

User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 9:00:12 PM
Re: Tit for Tat
that is a great point. Also, I think that by government and academia partnering together then can guide student better to more marketable careers.  I know of many students who aren't sure why they are at school for or postpone the real world by continuing their education with major that do not offer many job prospects.  If they are provided with the guidance that a job in the security field is a something worth pursuing I'm sure government will help reduce the deficit of professional in this area
Christian "Ian" Bryant,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2014 | 5:12:03 PM
Tit for Tat
I'll make this one brief.  I agree, sure, that our academics are a rich resource.  MIT has produced many innovators who moved the software industry forward.  For many of these individuals, however, they had the privilege of having access to resources few people in the United State have.  Thank God, too, because hackers like me who built an entire career off Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) skills, would never have had a career were it not for the creators of FOSS (many, though not all) being able to afford schools with resources.

As soon as the Government catches on to your point, they better well give tit for tat.  I believe in the free sharing of knowledge and feel that the "industry" that is education can only offer what our Government, what our citizens, need if the education is a quality one, the resources are offered to everyone without prejudice, and money no longer is a factor in obtaining an education.

Many of the most brilliant hackers I know are not college educated, started life as poor as I did, are not Caucasian (which I happen to be), and have boundless creativity.  How can the government take advantage of academia if that resource is a stale pool?  Some of the most brilliant technological minds will never be known because of the way our society is built, how education is run, and the elitism of the academic environment.

Yes, you have a valid point.  But much must change before that point can be put to practical use.

Disclaimer:  I didn't go to college, though I spend most of my salary making sure my daughters are well educated and do go; and when they graduate, I fully expect them to be at the forefront of the type of change I have described.


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