The FBI has called upon hackers to help it fight cybercrime.
Speaking at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, Daniel Larkin from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) appealed for hackers to lend their “expertise and input as we develop strategies to battle cybercrime in the 21st century”.
US federal agencies have increasingly sought the help of the private sector as security threats grow ever more sophisticated.
"The people we're going after are not just the script kiddies anymore,” Larkin told his audience of hackers and security professionals. “I used to be really afraid of you all. But I realise that you are all really important.
"Critical information on terrorism and cybercrimes could be in your hands and might be in your hands before they reach ours."
Larkin estimated that one in 10 people attending this year’s conference are law enforcement professionals. He warned the hackers: "Be nice to them. They are here to help you, they’re here to team up."
Security consultants responded nervously to the FBI’s appeal. "It is not reassuring," Californian security consultant Tom Thomas told Cnet. "It confirms what we already suspect. There is great technical inadequacy, if not downright ineptness, at the FBI. Therefore they are seeking help from almost anyone."
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