Defense Giants Stalk Cyberwar Contracts
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2009 3:05 PM CDT
Computer experts, like these at the Defcon hacker conference, are being recruited by defense contractors.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Major defense contractors are already staffed with "hacker soldiers" who can help them earn billions of dollars in Washington's new cyberwar, the New York Times reports. Cranking rock tunes and piling up pop cans, engineers hack away at companies like Raytheon, working for the Pentagon or protecting internal documents. Now, with President Obama seeking a new cyberwar command, the rush for government contracts is on.

The US spends just $10 billion a year on computer security, but insiders expect that number to grow quickly. “Everybody’s attacking everybody,” one Raytheon engineer said. As spending on traditional weapons wanes, defense contractors are in an enviable position to provide a new form of security. “I always approach it like a game,” said one young hire, a college dropout. “And it’s been fun.”