Young Hackers Gather For Cyber Security Awareness Week
The eighth Cyber Security Awareness Week brought together high school hackers in pursuit of a noble goal. NY1’s Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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The kids filling the room in the above picture are computer hackers. They work their way into computer systems much the same way some might hear about bad guys doing it on the news.
The difference is that these hackers are actually the good guys, and the systems they're breaking into are simulated as part of a competition for the eighth Cyber Security Awareness Week at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
“We have everything from high school students who are learning about forensics so they can tell you if your credit card information was stolen off your computer, how a hacker got in or how an attacker compromised a website. Also, everything from graduate students who are designing new hardware to make it more secure to do things,” said Justin Cappos of NYU-Poly. “There are seven different events all located with this, and there’s thousands of people from around the world. This is going and taking people interested in this putting them in a communal environment where they can all pool their resources and learn from each other.”
Companies present at the event to recruit potential employees say the crowd is great, but they hope events like these encourage more kids out there who are interested in computers and software to pursue a career in security, because they are desperately needed.
“We have a talent gap today, not only in industry but also in government. We need to have more qualified people building next generation solutions to meet the challenges that we have in the next decade,” said Don Proctor of Cisco. “There's a national security risk. This is too big a battle for us to lose.”
Perhaps the best motivation for future cyber security students would be to just have them listen to current cyber security students.
“Very empowering. If you can help national security and help the overall benefit of your nation, then definitely,” said 11th grader Luis Valdez.
“There's gonna be bad guys and you need good guys to counteract that evil, if you want to call it, and if I don't do it, who’s gonna do it? So it's one of those passions that I have,” said 11th grader Swaad Golam.
To learn more about other events like this for students that highlight science, technology, engineering for math in your neighborhood, check out NY1’s parent company Time Warner Cable's www.ConnectAMillionMinds.com.