NSA Teams Up With Colleges to Train Students for Secret Cyber-Ops Jobs

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Kim Zetter
May 22, 2012

The National Security Agency is partnering with select universities to train students in cyber operations for intelligence, military and law enforcement jobs, work that will remain secret to all but a select group of students and faculty who pass clearance requirements, according to Reuters.

The cyber-operations curriculum is part of the Obama administration’s national initiative to improve cybersecurity through education, and is designed to prepare students for jobs with the U.S. Cyber Command, the NSA’s signals intelligence operations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies that investigate cyber crimes.

The U.S. Cyber Command’s job is, in part, to support the military in offensive cyber operations against enemy networks, suggesting the students would be trained in the methods of hackers.

“We’re trying to create more of these, and yes they have to know some of the things that hackers know, they have to know a lot of other things too, which is why you really want a good university to create these people for you,” Neal Ziring, technical director at the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate, told Reuters.

But another NSA official was quick to add that the NSA wasn’t looking to teach students illegal hacking techniques.

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