Debate: Should You Hire a Hacker?
Should corporations hire known hackers with criminal records to test and secure their networks? The question, posed to four panelists at the RSA Security Conference held at the Moscone Center today, pitted hacker Kevin Mitnick against Christopher Painter, who prosecuted Mitnick in 1995. Mitnick argued that hackers, if reformed, make excellent security consultants because of their nature of pushing technology to the limits and their skills in penetrating computer systems. Painter, now the deputy chief of the Computer Crime Section of the Department of Justice, disagreed. Criminals are criminals, he explained. And paying known ex-criminals to safeguard a company’s intellectual property is like having the fox guard the henhouse, which was the title of the session. Ira Winkler, the outspoken chief security strategist for Hewlett-Packard agreed vociferously with Painter. Winkler last week squashed an internal H-P proposal to bring Mitnick in as a paid guest speaker. Full Story