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NSA chief appeals to defcon hackers for help

NSA chief appeals to defcon hackers for help

Published: 10:55 AM 07/28/2012

LAS VEGAS -- Over the past two decades, hackers at Defcon and the feds have been circling each other suspiciously. The nation's top "spook" -- National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander -- giving a keynote at the hacker confab, shows just how much tensions have mellowed.

"I've spent 20 years trying to get someone from the NSA" to speak at Defcon, said Defcon founder Jeff Moss, who serves on the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council and is chief security officer for ICANN. "It's eye-opening to see the world from their view," he said. "On the NSA's 60th anniversary and our 20th anniversary this has all come together."

Against a backdrop of relentless cyber-espionage on U.S. companies and government agencies and vulnerabilities and exploits affecting critical infrastructure providers, Gen. Alexander, who also is commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, asked the hackers for help. "In this room right here is the talent we need to secure cyberspace," he said. "You know we can protect the networks and have civil liberties and privacy and you can help us get there."

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