Carnegie Mellon, NSA seek high school hackers

Posted at 5:17 PM, Mar 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-15 17:17:00-04

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Bored with classes? Carnegie Mellon University and one of the government's top spy agencies want to interest high school students in a game of computer hacking.

Their goal with "Toaster Wars" is to cultivate the nation's next generation of cyber warriors in offensive and defensive strategies. The free, online "high school hacking competition" will run from April 26 to May 6. Any U.S. student or team in grades six through 12 can apply.

The game is sponsored by the National Security Agency, which is responsible for code breaking and protecting the U.S. from cyberattack. NSA representative Vanee Vines said Friday that the U.S. increasingly needs professionals with highly technical cyber skills to help keep the country safe.

Organizers say they hope participants will see computer security as a career choice.