Who would have known? Hackers Oscars, The Pwnie Awards at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, may become a monster recruitment event for Uncle Sam.
Better known as Hackers Oscars, the Pwnie Awards ceremony fifth annual event takes place on Aug 3rd, 2011 at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas at the BlackHat USA security conference. The gathering celebrates achievements and failures of security researchers and the security community.
The real deal of the event is the nomination of "Epic 0wnage," 2011. The Award goes to the hacker, or hackers, responsible for delivering the most damaging, widely publicized, or entertaining 0wnage. In other words, the best, or worst, cyber trouble makers the world has ever known. This year's nominees are Anonymous, LulzSec, Bradley Manning, and Stuxnet.
No one knows who most of these guys are, and organizers are doing their best to protect their identities (an irony, when we consider what hackers do). Knowing how to avoid leaving any trace behind, organizers decided the $150 entrance fee to be paid cash only, with no registration required.
Needless to the say the U.S. Government is going to send a squadron of agencies to attend the Pwnie Awards. FBI, NSA, NASA, CIA, DOD, DHS and whichever other Government Acency will have its agents in attendance. Some with punitive intentions, some with recruiting offers. Yes, that is correct. Uncle Sam descends to the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with the disclosed desire to recruit the best hackers the world has ever known.
"Today it is cyber warriors that we're looking for, not rocket scientists," said Richard George, tech director of the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate. "That's the race that we're in today. We need the best and brightest to be ready to take on this cyber warrior status," George told Reuters in an interview.
One of the key tasks of the National Security Agency is protection of Government U.S. computer networks filled with top secret information. However, the NSA also plays offensive, conducting cyber-spying operations against potential enemies of U.S. interests.
The NSA plans to hire 1,500 people by September 30 2011 and 1,500 more in 2012. Most of these positions are available to qualified cyber experts. "We are straining to hire the people that we need," George said, to justify NSA's opening to the possible hiring of Hackers.
With over 10,000 people expected to attend the Pwnie Awards, Uncle Sam's cyber-arm NSA will have plenty of recruitment opportunities at hand.
The Pwnie Awards ceremony starts at 6:15pm, Wed, Aug 3rd 2011 at the Blackhat USA reception, Caeser's Palace, Las Vegas.