16 Jul 2012
Master hackers should be hired by the US to win cyber war instead of being arrested, according a top defense expert interviewed by The Guardian. John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, says the US government should avoid “ridiculous” prosecutions and use attackers' skills to track enemies.
The professor estimated there were around 100 master hackers worldwide, many of them in Asia and Russia, who could be used in the same way as German rocket scientists were enlisted after the second world war.
"If this was being done, the war on terror would be over," Arquilla said as quoted by The Guardian. "They are the rangers of the cyber sphere. Most of them are drawn to it for its beauty and complexity. The Pentagon and other security agencies must exploit that sort of ability. This is huge human capital.”
The professor, who invented the term “cyberwarfare” 20 years ago, said many of these masterminds could become patriots and fight al-Qaida, especially because the group is decentralized and depends on the Internet.
"This global network simply can't thrive without the world wide web and internet. It can't operate without it, or if it does, at a greatly reduced level," Arquilla added, advising the US to use hackers for sabotaging al-Qaida’s communications.
Recently, an FBI executive said the United States is "not winning" the hacking war, warning that the Bureau’s current model to fight hackers that break into companies and governments is "unsustainable."