Military recruiters may still prize the strapping jock, but military contractors are wooing the scrawny computer geek to join the ranks of young "hacker soldiers" enlisted to defend the US in cyberwarfare, the New York Times reports. Most of the biggest companies, like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, have “cyber contracts” with the military, and the Pentagon now has thousands protecting the US against threats and developing offensives of their own.
The US, experts say, is behind in its cybersecurity efforts. “Everybody’s attacking everybody,” says one engineer, 30, for contractor Raytheon. Right now, government spending on cyberwarfare stands at about $10 billion—but it’s likely to soar, say those in the industry, with Pentagon enthusiasm reaching “religious intensity.” “I always approach it like a game, and it’s been fun,” said a 22-year-old Raytheon worker.