Teens Prepare For Cyberwar

” Computer-savvy teens are putting down their game controllers — at least temporarily — for code writing and virus-sweeping. Call it “Red Dawn: Part Deux: Teen Cyber-Commandos.”

At events like the CyberLympics, CyberPatriot contest or just-announced “Toaster Wars,” sponsored by the National Security Agency, high school geek squads are competing to see who does the best job at preventing unauthorized computer intrusions.

This growing interest in cyberdefense comes at a time when the Pentagon officials are warning against damaging computer attacks from China and other nations, while stoking concerns that the United States education system hasn’t trained enough cyber-warriors to protect either military or civilian computer systems.

While the students are taught advanced computer skills, they also receive training in computer ethics, according to Scott Kennedy, assistant vice president and principal systems engineering manager at SAIC, a defense contractor and cybersecurity provider based in Northern Virginia. In fact, some students have been kicked out for getting into other team’s computers, or issuing denial of service attacks.”