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    Established in June 2009, US Cyber Command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations

    Calling All Hackers! Pentagon Adds 3,000-Strong Army to Cyber Command

    © AP Photo / Department of Defense, Cherie Cullen
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    The Pentagon received congressional permission to fast-track the hiring of 3,000 civilian hackers to bolster the ranks of its understaffed United States Cyber Command.

    Established in June 2009, Cyber Command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations.

    Command leaders yesterday asked Congress to grant them the ability to make compensation deals with prospective employees more quickly, Nextgov reported. They claimed the hiring process has become too protracted, while threats from enemy hackers continue to grow.

    The pay scale for the open positions starts at $42,399 and goes up to $132,122.

    Now, instead of rating applicants based on traditional competitive criteria, the Pentagon can offer jobs based on candidates’ unique skills and knowledge, Nextgov reported. The special qualifications include the ability to analyze malware, respond to incidents, manage cyber fire drills and detect vulnerabilities, among other things.

    The new hiring powers expire on December 31 of this year.  

    Cyber Command’s target workforce size is 6,200 employees, Adm. Mike Rogers, the force’s chief, told Congress on Wednesday, according to Nextgov.

    Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, head of the US Army Cyber Command, told House Armed Services subcommittee members that “recruiting and retaining Army civilian cyber talent is challenging given internal federal employment constraints regarding compensation and a comparatively slow hiring process.

    The Pentagon has expressed concern over cybersecurity threats.
    © AP Photo / VICTORIA AROCHO
    According to Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, the top official at the Navy Fleet Cyber Command, it will only become more difficult for Cyber Command to hire personnel when the economy improves.

    So Rogers requested Congress supply the command with more appropriations.

    “Where we need help from you is with resources required to hire personnel to fill the team seats as well as necessary operational and strategic headquarters operations, intelligence, and planning staffs,” he told House members.

    As of February, the Pentagon had reached the midway point of staffing Cyber Command, but was backing away from the long-held held goal of employing a full staff by 2016.

    Tags:
    hackers, Cyber Command, Mike Rogers, United States
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