The recent cyberattack on Sony entertainment, as well as scores of other less-reported but still unsettling attacks across the country, have prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to revisit its internet defenses and increase its efforts to combat such attacks. A major part of those efforts includes a push to hire more computer-savvy bureau agents in order to be able to stay ahead of hackers in a new war that could be potentially devastating to the digital infrastructure in the United States and around the world.
The FBI posted a plea on its website for individuals who are “experienced and certified cyber experts” to join its ranks and offer much needed assistance in fighting internet criminals who launch such potentially devastating attacks.
While FBI officials do not officially attach the increased efforts to hire cyber experts to the recent Sony attack, many of them made it clear that they are determined to not let another attack like that one hit American internet systems. According to Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI field office in Boston, “investigating cybercrimes and widespread intrusions is a top priority for the FBI. This push to hire new people is an effort to keep pace with the evolving threat.
To this point there has been no mention by the agency regarding how many people they are looking to hire, but its website has several listed openings for special agents information technology forensic examiners, and computer science experts.
At last count in 2012 there were just over 1,000 cybersecurity agents employed by the FBI across the country. The search for qualified talent is a difficult one, according to sources within the Bureau, as many people have the skill set that is required for such a job but may be “black hat” cyber experts who have a questionable personal background. That combined with the ever-increasing threat of these types of attacks makes the demand for qualified and talented cyber experts simply unprecedented.