White House turns to hacker for security advice

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White House turns to hacker for security advice

A white hat hacker who set up the Black Hat and Defcon computer conferences has been picked as a member of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

Jeff Moss, aka Dark Tangent, along with 24 other members, has been officially sworn in by DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, and will advise the government on how to secure America's critical IT infrastructure from attack.

Moss will work alongside other members of HSAC, including the former heads of the CIA and the FBI, the governors of Maryland and Georgia, and the head of the Navajo nation.

"I congratulate the members of the HSAC on their appointments," said Napolitano. "As we work to fulfil 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 attention 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 after leaving high school and now works in Seattle as a corporate network security tester.

Moss 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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