US intelligence wants to recruit an IT army

US intelligence networks are short of IT staff and have had to go cap in hand to the senate to ask them to hire more.

According to the Washington Times, the plague of foreign hackers has become the new terrorism, and the security threat is starting to become the nation’s biggest headache.

Federal Bureau of Investigations director Robert Mueller, who said cybersecurity risks now keep him awake at night, and National Intelligence director James Clapper said the capabilities of foreign powers put all sectors of the US at risk.

The big idea behind these dramatic statements is to get Congress to hand over shedloads of cash so spooks can hire lots more IT experts to deal with the threat.

National Security Agency and Cyber Command head Keith Alexander told the Senate he needs money to seat 40 online support teams by 2015. This has to happen despite federal budget woes and the usual politics.

At the moment the Senate is trying to cut a quarter of Cyber Command’s budget. These are actually the people who would be launching cyber attacks rather than defending against them.