COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Luke Petersen, a high school senior, spent Friday morning hacking into computer networks. His parents didn't know what he was doing, but the authorities were well-aware of it -- in fact they encouraged his attacks. It was all part of the first Cybersecurity skills competition held at Columbus State Community College. Petersen was one of about 30 students taking part in the competition to test their skills.
"It teaches you how to get to information on a server," Petersen said. "That's what the hackers want, and so if we know how to do that, we can defend against that." He's hoping to turn his skills into a job as a computer engineer. The real need, however, is in Cybersecurity professionals.
"We don't have enough trained cyber-security professionals in Ohio or in the country," said Mark Bell, with the Ohio National Guard. Bell is part of the Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee, set up by the governor, to help develop stronger cyber security infrastructure. The committee is also working to encourage young people to go into Cybersecurity careers.