FBI seeks geeks to battle cybercrime

The FBI is looking for “tech talent” to help protect the United States from cyber-based attacks and other technology crimes.

This is a nationwide recruitment effort, but officials say they’re publicizing it in the Bay Area due to the region’s vast talent pool.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Malcolm Palmore said:

“We have a unique area in terms of the pool of potential applicants that you can get in any particular job field. … What we’ve found historically is that agents come from lots of various backgrounds.”

Palmore added:

“It’s easier with regard to the cyber realm if the agents come on board with some knowledge.”

The FBI is recruiting cyber experts as special agents, computer scientists, or information technology forensic examiners. They’re also hiring for their cyber internship program. Qualifications include work history and educational backgrounds in a tech-specific field.

Palmore said:

“We’re looking for folks who are technically inclined, and by technical we mean an emphasis on math, science and engineering backgrounds.”

Relevant fields included computer science, computer security and network technology, he said. Applicants will also have to pass an FBI background check, and Palmore said the bureau is not looking for white-hat hackers:

“We’re looking for the same cadre of people that we’ve always looked for, which primarily are folks that can pass an FBI background investigation. … We’re not changing any of our hiring standards.”

Cybersecurity has been a point of focus in national news media since Sony Pictures Entertainment altered its plans for the release of the film “The Interview,” starring actors Seth Rogen and James Franco, after reports emerged that hackers from North Korea may have compromised the Japanese corporation.

Today there was also a compromise of social media accounts belonging to the United States military’s Central Command, also known as CENTCOM. The hack occurred during a speech from President Obama about bolstering cybersecurity measures, according to media reports.

Palmore said:

“You would think the timing is completely related to what’s in the news right now, but it’s not. … The FBI for many years has been re-tooling and re-gauging it’s work force. The Sony thing, if anything, is the exclamation point on efforts that have been underway for years.”

Eligibility is limited to United States citizens. More information about job requirements and employment opportunities can be found online at http://www.fbijobs.gov/cybercareers.