The real sign that the White House might be finally taking cyber security seriously came in an announcement that Jeff Moss, aka “Dark Tangent” and the former hacker behind the annual DefCon hacker confab in Las Vegas, has been appointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council (HSAC).
He was among 16 people sworn in to the council by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Former CIA Director WIlliam Webster and former FBI Director Louis Freeh are also on the council, which provides advice and recommendations to the secretary. Webster is the council chair.
Moss, who lives in Seattle, says he was really surprised when he got a call about three weeks ago inviting him to join.
“I always figured that because of my associations in the past that I would be kind of out of the running for anything like this,” he told Threat Level. “DefCon started as a hacking conference . . . and I just figured that that past, in a nontraditional beginning, people wouldn’t know how to relate to that. To me it shows that they’re really looking for fresh perspectives…”
Moss says he didn’t have a clue what the Advisory Council was when he got the call to join. But he was told that DHS was looking for outside perspectives to rejuvenate the council, which had been neglected under former Secretary Michael Chertoff. The position is voluntary and runs for a term of three years.
Good for you, dude. Glad you’re not saddled with the kind of counter-culture hangups that inhibit performing a useful service for something larger than your clan.