NSA looks for new hires at hacker convention

Tuesday - 8/2/2011, 9:23am EDT

The National Security Agency has a challenge for hackers who think they're hot stuff: Prove it by working for the government on what the agency calls the "hardest problems on Earth."

Increasingly, computer hacker skills are in great demand in the federal government, Reuters reports. Look no further than the guest list at Defcon, an annual hacker conference that is expected to draw more than 10,000 attendees. Among those milling about a Las Vegas conference center this week will be recruiters for the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, NASA and NSA.

For NSA, it's proof the agency is now looking for potential cyber warriors not necessarily rocket scientists. The agency said it would hire about 1,500 new employees this fiscal year and an additional 1,500 next year - most of them cyber experts.

But at Defcon, NSA and other federal agencies will have to compete the private companies also looking for hacking talent too.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update. For more cybersecurity news, click here.