In a bid to boost its defenses against cybersecurity threats, Turkey plan to hire young hackers to counter the risks. White-hat hackers will work around the clock against the threats, officials say and they will be paid between TL 6,000 ($1,700)-10,000 for what state-run telecom agency calls "maintaining national security."
The country aims to heighten security in the face of cyberattacks after last year's series of cyberattacks that continued for about two weeks in a coordinated assault by hackers.
The attacks, one of the worst in the country's history, led to crashes and temporary disruption in government websites, as well as online banking services.
State-run Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) started the employment process for young security experts who will be able to apply by e-mail.
The government has already launched a national action plan for cyber security strategy to improve its national firewall against the attacks by terrorist groups, especially the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) blamed for the July 15 coup attempt. Unlike other terrorist groups that mostly exploit impoverished youths, FETÖ draws followers from all walks of life, from shopkeepers to highly skilled IT experts.
The country was subject to some 90 million cyberattacks this year and the attacks doubled especially months before the coup attempt and after it was quelled. Experts say some 45 percent of computers in Turkey are exposed to the attacks and the country is fourth in the world in the number of "compromised" computers.
The Ministry of Telecommunications already employ hundreds of cyberattack intervention crews both for the public and private sectors but authorities complained of a lack of skilled experts. Ömer Fatih Sayan, head of BTK, urges universities and academics to help with providing manpower. "We need people who will work around the clock if necessary," Sayan says.
White-hat hackers have been used by large corporations including Microsoft, Apple and Facebook as well as government and military institutes across the world such as the United States' National Security Agency (NSA), NATO and Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps