Japan recruits hackers for cyber security force

The Japanese government plans to recruit hackers to identify and protect against cyber security threats

Japan is the latest country to officially tap into hacking skills to identify and protect against cyber security threats.

The country’s recently established National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (Nisc) will host a team of so-called white hat hackers to bolster Japan’s cyber defence capabilities.

Japan logged 25.7 billion attempted cyber attacks against government and other institutions in 2014, reports Kyodo News.

An official report said many of the attacks were attempts to gain control of routers and security cameras.

Like the UK, Japan is seeking to tap into young people with hacking talent as potential cyber defenders of the future.

In February 2015, Japan hosted a hacking competition to enable local teams to test their skills against teams from the US, China, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan and the US.

While the SECCON competition enabled young Japanese technology engineers to show off their skills on the world stage, it was also aimed at encouraging them to become cyber defenders.

Cyber Security Challenge UK

Similarly, the Cyber Security Challenge UK annual series of competitions was set up in 2010 to attract people to cyber security, to help plug the critical skills gap facing UK government and business.

The two-day final of the 2015 competition aboard the battleship HMS Belfast on the Thames in London is set to culminate in a showdown between 42 finalists and a fictitious cyber terrorist group on 13 March 2015.

The final comes after ten months of qualifying competitions and involves, for the first time, a simulated cyber terrorist attack aimed at taking control of critical national infrastructure.

The simulation was designed by experts from BT, GCHQ, NCA, Lockheed Martin, Airbus Group, C3IA, PGI and Palo Alto Networks to identify cyber security talent.

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, with responsibility for the UK’s Cyber Security Strategy and National Cyber Security Programme, said both government and business needed skilled and talented people to feed the demand for better cyber security in the UK.

“This competition is the biggest and best yet and events like this play an important role in helping provide the next generation of cyber professionals,” he said.

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