May 8th, 2003, 08:00 PM
Wanted: Top Hackers !
Wanted: top hackers as trackers
By Les Kennedy
May 9 2003
Police are offering 20 computer nerds the opportunity to become highly paid spies working for the NSW counter-terrorist unit.
Successful applicants will not have to undergo the rigours of police academy training or uniform duties but will be designated special constables, with wage offers above the $44,000 starting rate for regular police constables.
The computer spies - most likely university computer science graduates or highly skilled IT workers - will be offered wages of between $60,000 and $103,000.
The high wage offer to civilian employees is a first for the police service but seen as necessary by the Commissioner, Ken Moroney, to recruit the best computer specialists from the private sector.
The successful applicants will join a newly created unit within the police Special Service Group that will be called the State Electronic Evidence Branch.
Superintendent Tony Jeffries said advertisements for the hacker sleuths would be placed in newspapers tomorrow.
The Special Service Group also hopes to recruit civilians with technical inventing skills - a sort of James Bond-style agent "Q" - to develop or adapt new equipment for use by police in covert or day-to-day field operations.
A unit called the Advanced Technology Centre was created last year within the SSG to develop equipment for police operations. It has already created a "dog cam" that can be attached to a police dog that is sent into situations such as sieges.
The Advanced Technology Unit is developing a video camera for police vehicles that will film encounters with the public.
The electronic evidence recruits will not be allowed to tell anyone - even their partners - the nature of projects assigned to them.
They will examine computer drives and even microchips from cars and mobile phones of people suspected of having links with terrorist organisations.
Superintendent Jeffries said the cyber sleuths would examine computer pathways for hidden information and that staff selected would undergo training in forensic analysis so that any potential data relating to terrorist activities in NSW could be used in court in prosecutions of suspects.
In the past NSW police have had to contract out such work to private enterprise, but last year Deputy Commissioner Andrew Scipione, the overall commander of counter-terrorism units within the force, successfully lobbied the Government for an extra $1.75 million to create the computer spy unit.
"We will have to train them in skills of forensic analysis but we don't have to train them [successful applicants] in any computer sciences because they will already have that expertise," Superintendent Jeffries said. "In the past the force has paid for officers to obtain their IT qualifications only to see them lured away to the private sector.
"We have had trouble retaining the officers with the skills we need, so recruiting from outside is a better option."
May 9th, 2003, 01:37 AM
Now that sounds like a good idea. Get those geeks working to bust the crime scumb. to that and the post.
May 14th, 2003, 04:17 AM
heh good idea. they did some of that back in the early 90s when they caught a hacker group and the government paid them to hack for them.