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Here's how you can become a cyberwarrior in the US. (If you live outside the US, your country may have similar opportunities for you.)

1. Be sure to defend your own computers, especially against agents of cyberwarfare, and report suspicious attacks. See http://happyhacker.org/HHA/fightback.shtml for keystroke-by-keystroke details with screen shots of how to fight back when computer criminals or cyberterrorists strike. If you spot a suspected cyberattack, you should report it to the Computer Emergency Response Team for your country. Contact information for these teams is at http://www.first.org/team-info/. Within the US, contact http://www.cert.org.

2. Don't engage in vigilante action. Because of the danger that you may harm US warfighting activities, you may well end up behind bars if you play vigilante. See http://www.infragard.net/warnings/01_020.htm: this sort of vigilante action is against US law and will be prosecuted

2. Get a college education. The military normally entrusts operations of the level of sensitivity posed by cyberwar only to commissioned officers. To become a commissioned officer, instead of an enlisted person, a college degree is crucial. Excellent courses on computer security are being offered at the University of Texas at Austin. Register on line at http://learning.bus.utexas.edu/tec or telephone (512) 475-8085.

3. To become an officer, a good opportunity for high school kids is to enroll in a high school ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) program. Details on Air Force high school programs are at http://www.afoats.af.mil/AFJROTC.htm, (334) 953-7513. High school ROTC will help you get into one of the US military Academies for college. If a high school program is not available, be sure to attend a college or University with ROTC. Your BEST OPPORTUNITY is to get an appointment to attend one of the Academies for the armed forces.

4. The best service to join for cyberwarfare is the US Air Force http://www.af.mil/. All Air Force officer-training opportunities can be viewed at http://www.afoats.af.mil/. The Air Force Academy http://www.usafa.af.mil/ is located in Colorado Springs, CO, which is also headquarters for Space Command.

5. The US Air Force Space Command http://www.af.mil/news/factsheets/Air_Force_Space_Command.html is in charge of waging cyberwar. All the US armed services have cyberwar units; however, they will coordinate through Space Command.

6. If you join the US Navy, you can get a tremendous education in computer science. Check out http://www.navylearning.navy.mil to find out what some of these great courses are. Carolyn's note: the Navy paid for my husband's masters degrees in computer science and math because he was in college ROTC. When he finished school he had a fascinating career going back and forth between being a fighter pilot and doing computer-related work.

One of our readers tells us:

From: "kuwanoe"
Subject: Cyberwar
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 09:46:06 -0500

Maam,

You are correct that the military is the way to go. The Air Force is best, but of course since I'm in that service I am super-loyal. What makes us best is that we entrust our enlisted to perform the duties you describe, right alongside the officers.

Thank you for your article!


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