We need your help – the head of DHS addresses hackers during the Black Hat speech

Speaking at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference, the secretary of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, invited hackers to join the ranks of the government. 

Acknowledging that the US is facing major cybersecurity challenges, Mayrokas invited the attendees of the hacker-favored event to share expertise and challenge the government.

"There is nothing simple about the cybersecurity challenges we face, and we need your help to get this right." DHS boss said at the 24th Black Hat conference.

Among the first problems to tackle is data routing. Mayorkas explained that the government needs to find the right balance in light of Russia and China expanding their influence in cyberspace.

The great game is playing out in cyberspace right now. I know that all of you love to work on tough problems. You're compelled to solve seemingly unsolvable puzzles. So, here's the bottom line. We need your help,

Alejandro Mayorkas.

"The great game is playing out in cyberspace right now. I know that all of you love to work on tough problems. You're compelled to solve seemingly unsolvable puzzles. So, here's the bottom line. We need your help," Mayorkas said.

The infosec community was invited to work at the DHS or the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The Head of DHS explained that the internet is fragmenting all over the world, which means that the future of the internet is currently at stake.

He announced the launch of a new cyber talent management system to attract more talent promising flexibility for a dynamic workforce. The key motive behind the overhaul, a first in seven years, is to compete with the private sector efficiently.

Geopolitical tensions

The US is facing major challenges with cybersecurity, as proven evident by a stream of major attacks over the last year with Solarwinds, Colonial Pipeline, and Kaseya hacks, to name a few. Mayorkas linked current obstacles to what the world was going through in the 19th century when Britain, Russia, and China rubbed shoulders over dominance in Asia.

"And there was a divide between a deeply flawed yet aspiring democracy in Britain and the Tsars, and dynasties who were focused on autocratic control over everything in their path, promoting and enforcing a closed, disconnected, and oppressive system," DHS head explained.

According to him, unlike modern states, the old nation fought over land. Even though the land is not the primary objective anymore, the fight over territory remains. Only this time, the territory in question is digital, with Russia and China fighting for maximizing government control over internet users.

"We must ultimately confront some critical questions: who will build, control and operate the underlying infrastructure of the internet," Mayorkas asked in a speech he gave over a video link.

High stakes

Last week President Joe Biden warned that if the United States ended up in a 'real shooting war' with a 'major power,' it could result from a significant cyberattack on the country.

Series of high-profile attacks on entities such as network management company SolarWinds, the Colonial Pipeline company, meat processing company JBS and software firm Kaseya hurt the US far beyond just the companies hacked.

Analysts and law enforcement claim that Russian-speaking and Russia-linked cyber gangs were behind several major attacks recently, with the REvil gang behind JBS and Kaseya attacks, DarkSide behind the Colonial Pipeline breach, and a group of Russian government-backed hackers behind the Solarwinds attack.

Earlier in July, The United States and a coalition of allies on Monday accused China's Ministry of State Security of a global cyber hacking campaign, specifically attributing a large Microsoft attack disclosed to hackers working on Beijing's behalf earlier this year.

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