[ISN] Metro summer camp aims to reform hackers

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 18 2002 - 00:06:43 PST

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    By Jennifer Beauprez and Kris Hudson
    Denver Post Business Writers 
    Sunday, March 17, 2002 - You've heard of basketball camps for kids.
    But what about a summer camp for hackers?
    White Hat Technologies, a Denver security firm that hires reformed
    hackers, wants to host the first-annual Hacker Camp in metro Denver
    next year. Thubten Comerford, chief executive of White Hat, said he
    wants to teach teenage hackers how to use their talents and brains for
    the good guys.
    "This would be an opportunity for young people to use their powers for
    good, to hack without getting into trouble," Comerford said. The event
    could also help White Hat in uncovering vulnerabilities and recruiting
    future employees, he said.
    Comerford is trying to drum up sponsors for the event and is talking
    to three universities about hosting it on one of their campuses. The
    company has also devised hacker contests, or "Hack Offs," to qualify
    for the two-week camp.  Comerford hasn't determined whether sponsors
    would foot the entire bill for all participants.
    The online contests devised by White Hat are similar to a virtual game
    of capture the flag, traversing through multiple firewalls, servers
    and routers, and then finding and decrypting passwords.
    "It would be kind of like a video game," Comerford said. "The kids
    that show the most promise would then come to the camp."
    Comerford admits that the camp could wind up teaching kids an illegal
    activity, but said he believes the opportunity will outweigh that
    chance. For more information, e-mail hackercampat_private
    Jennifer Beauprez writes on technology and the Internet. She may be
    reached at jbeauprezat_private Kris Hudson covers
    telecommunications and can be reached at khudsonat_private
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