Cyber Soldier of Fortune

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Private organizations and for that matter individuals that provide military-style security have been in existence for thousands of years. Their origins can be traced back to the medieval times. Many refer to the individuals who make up these groups as Soldiers of Fortune. A Soldier of Fortune is a person hired to fight for a cause in a country other than their own. Many times they are referred to as mercenaries, but that term carries negative connotations. These professional soldiers go where conflicts break out and where their skills are needed. Now Cyber Soldiers of Fortune are beginning to appear as are cyber arms dealers.We have entered a new age of conflict. The new era of conflict is one that does not operate in the physical worlds and is not defined by physical boundaries. Cyber warfare, conflicts and attacks are now a reality and a reality that every nation in the world must address. Given that this type of warfare is relatively new, there is a severe shortage of resources. The three hottest positions emerging are cyber conflict resolution specialists (CCRS) and cyber operational support technicians (COST). CCRS create cyber attack strategies, plans and direct offensive strategies against specific targets. The COST provides the hands-on development, customization and deployment of cyber weapons as directed by the commanding CCRS. The third hot resource is the cyber espionage operative (CEO) - the spy.

More and more attention is being given to cyber attacks. They have become an all too frequent a topic in the media today. Metrics collected by Spy-Ops clearly indicate the rapid growth in coverage of these incidents. The chart to the right tracks cyber threat awareness. As the number and significance of incident increase the media coverage and threat awareness increase. The spike that occurred in April is sure to increase the demand for these resources. Patty Luther, a security recruiting specialist said, There is an ever increasing demand for highly skilled cyber security resources. When you add the demand for Cyber Soldiers of Fortune, resources are in short supply. It's no secret that there are fewer students majoring in computer science today. The Computing Research Association's statistics show that the number of freshman who list computer science as a probable major has fallen by 70 percent since 2000.

New national data shows that what has been a traumatic decade for computer science departments is finally starting to turn around. For the first time since 2000, the number of newly declared undergraduate majors at doctoral-granting computer science departments is now on the increase.

As the cyber warfare threat environment continues to evolve new opportunities will be created. This threat is in its infancy and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. While Cyber Soldiers of Fortune are now a new entity, they will soon become old news and common place. In the past two months I have received emails and phone messages asking if I would be interested in joining/leading a cyber militia. This is a very dangerous proposition. It is difficult to determine who really is in controls of these organizations and how the cyber capabilities of the militia would be used. I would urge any of our readers on here to resist the temptation to join or support such groups.

-- Kevin Coleman

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