Network Protection Firms Recruit Hackers to Fight Computer Sabotage
With the Melissa virus showcasing the damaging power of an ill-intentioned computer expert, domestic firms are making inroads into the fledgling business of protecting systems from computer hackers.
CONCERT, a consortium of 200 computer network firms in Korea, will form a division which will undertake research and host seminars in an effort to share information regarding computer hacking, the Ministry of Information and Communication said yesterday.
The envisioned division will embrace major private consultants, known as ``Tiger Teams,'' groups of computer experts which will include former hackers who know how to protect against hacking.
Kosnet Co., a software venture founded last October, plans to launch its own Tiger Team composed of three hackers-turned-employees in April in a bid to offer a host of network security solutions to corporate users.
``Even though the conventional image of hackers is not that favorable, the fact is that they are excellent in their field. In the near future, a vast market will be created for talented hackers,'' Chong Sa-dong, president of Kosnet Co.. said.
Chong came to know the three former hackers personally at the same time as he noted the potential of a market which has yet to be fully exploited. ``They are now reviewing various materials related to network security before the formal launch of the service,'' he said.
Industry watchers estimate that around 2,000 hackers are active in Korea. Chong said this figure is only guesswork and does not have any statistical basi . ``What's certain, however, is that domestic hackers are highly competitive in terms of computer skills and boast a technology level comparable to foreign hackers.''
S1 Corp., a security service provider, is also set to kick off a Tiger Team in the second half of this year. The firm, known for its service brand ``Secom,'' is now recruiting former hackers and computer engineers for the special team.
``When network firms held a seminar last month, professors and government officials suggested the convergence of physical and cyber security services, which prompted our company to push for the project,'' Oh Kyong-su of S1 Corp. …