White House turns to hacker for security advice

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Jeff Moss, aka Dark Tangent, the white hat hacker who set up the Black Hat and DEFCON computer conferences, has been picked as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

Moss, along with 24 other members, has been officially sworn in by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and will advise the government on how to secure critical IT infrastructure from attack.

Moss will be working alongside other members of HSAC, including the former heads of the CIA, FBI and the governors of Maryland and Georgia, as well as the head of the Navajo Nation.

“I congratulate the members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council on their appointments,” said Secretary Napolitano.

“As we work to fulfill the Department’s core mission of securing the country against the many threats it faces, the unique insights and expertise of this diverse council will be a valuable resource.”

The hiring of Moss is seen by many as a sign of the increasing seriousness that the US government is applying to the problems of IT security.

While in the past Moss did carry out illegal hacking activities he has said that he stopped once leaving high school and now works in Seattle as a corporate network security tester.

He set up the Black Hat security conference that holds three events a year but sold the operation in 2005. He retains control of the DEFCON hacking convention.

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