Bad Hackers Turned Good Get Top Spot in Facebook Manhunt
Spend your Saturday night in a dimly-lit room crowded with hackers and you may well land a job in recession-hit Europe. Recruiters are scouring hackathons -- venues for self-trained computer geeks to meet and train -- to find those who could help fend off cyberthreats.
Companies and governments in western Europe will need to double the number of security specialists by 2015 and are set to face a shortage of talent, researcher IDC says. While jobless rates in the 17-nation euro region hit 11 percent in March and April, security employment is getting a boost from tougher regulation and heightened awareness, sparked by high-profile breaches at companies, including LinkedIn Corp. and Sony Corp.
“There’s no diploma to become a hacker,” said Guillaume Vassault-Houliere, 29, also known as Free_Man, who helped host 1,200 participants outside Paris last weekend in an event started 10 years ago by a local hacker. “Recruiters drop by looking for talent that just can’t be learned at school.” Employers from Facebook Inc. to the U.K. government have put up “wanted” signs looking for so-called white-hat hackers -- computer geeks who probe networks and pry into private data for recognition or just plain fun, not for money or criminal purposes. The U.K. Ministry of Defence said last year it planned to hire hundreds of security specialists.
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