AP Twitter Hack Prompts the Question: How Can we Prevent Hackers?

Prevent Hacking

Uncle Sam is calling on you to display your patriotism, but it’s in a different way than you may imagine. A new kind of draft is calling on students to counter the growing threat of cyber terrorism.

In 2010, the United States needed 20,000 cyber security experts, but we only had about a thousand. That just won’t cut it—and it puts the entire country at great peril. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) currently has a need for about 600 of them, says head Janet Napolitano. “We don’t need PhDs in computer science for many of the jobs they will be called upon to do,” she says.

Good news is that the DHS is launching “a whole host of internships and fellowships for young people to get.” Over 3,000 kids recently competed for 60 billets, a truly encouraging sign.

The Pentagon also needs help—most skilled “cyber warriors,” as the US military calls them, often get recruited by private industry after their service commitments are up. The Air Force set up an internship program for high school students. Unfortunately, sequestration has forced a cancellation of the high school training program for the Air Force. There are some notable programs leading the way that will help teenagers learn the art of cybersecurity. They include CodeHS, Codeacademy, and the Sans Institute.

In his last State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said, “We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math—the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.”

President Obama was actually referenced in a shocking tweet that came from the Associated Press earlier this afternoon: “Two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” The AP’s communication  team quickly tweeted from its own account that the main AP Twitter was compromised but investors had already panicked. The Dow Jones industrial average immediately plunged by more than 140 points.

This illustrates just how badly Uncle Sam needs talented White Hat Hackers. To learn more, check out the infographic below.

Compliments of Homeland Security Degrees.

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