USA PLANS CONTEST TO FIGHT $6 TRILLION CYBER CRIME

The report comes at a time when cryptocurrency hacks have been in the spotlight. In the recent hack of the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, almost 58 billion yen ($547 million) was stolen of a cryptocurrency called NEM.

Cybersecurity issues are becoming a day-to-day struggle, making it one of the biggest challenges that law enforcement will face in the next decades. 

Cybercrime is the evolution of traditional crime in a more sophisticated environment, and with a greater business risk. It has a direct and significant impact on jobs, innovation, economic growth, and investment. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, it will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021.

In 2018, McAfee released a report on the economic impact of cybercrime that estimated that the annual cost to the global economy was nearly $600 billion, up from the $45 billion in 2014. The report comes at a time when cryptocurrency hacks have been in the spotlight. In the recent hack of the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, almost 58 billion yen ($547 million) was stolen of a cryptocurrency called NEM.

Even though it wasn’t the first of its kind, it certainly is one of the biggest thefts that has occurred so far. In response, cryptocurrency users and investors have voiced concerns about the need for higher standards on security. 

In the United States, cyberattacks is the fastest growing type of crime: they are increasing in size, sophistication and cost. City officials at Riviera Beach, Florida, decided to pay a hacker 65 bitcoins (the equivalent of $600,000) to regain access to the city’s computer systems, which were compromised by the hacker. CNN reports that the city’s troubles began when an “employee clicked on a malicious email link three weeks ago.”

The Contest

Donald Trump 1

(Image source: flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore)

In order to grow and strengthen the U.S. cybersecurity workforce to meet the challenges of the 21st century, President Donald Trump signed an executive order  in May 2019.

The order included a number of federal initiatives: Standardizing job listings to help cybersecurity workers more easily move around government; creating a rotational employment program between the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies; establishing awards for elementary and secondary school educators who foster cybersecurity talent; and incentivizing people to learn and master hacking skills through new “awards and decorations.”

But perhaps the most interesting part of the document called for a “President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition”. The details of the President’s challenge and how it will work are still in the dark but, as reported by Fortune, the goal is to identify, challenge and reward the United States Government’s best cybersecurity practitioners and teams across offensive and defensive cybersecurity disciplines.

The order mandates that such a contest is intended for both military and civilians, with winners being set to earn a minimum cash prize of $25,000. And it comes at a time when the FBI is reportedly bleeding talent, just as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and other officials have noted that cyberthreats from foreign nations are increasing. 

The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security assessed last year that the U.S. “needs immediate and sustained improvements in its cybersecurity workforce situation.”

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