The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking for experienced and certified experts that could become cyber special agents, the agency announced on Monday.
The FBI is trying to attract individuals who might be able to help the agency in its fight against botnets, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, data breaches, website hacks, and data theft.
The law enforcement agency has participated in global operations against cyber threats such as Gameover Zeus and the BlackShades remote access Trojan (RAT). However, these are not the only types of operations for which the FBI needs cyber experts. Cyber has also become an important aspect in criminal and counterterrorism investigations, said Robert Anderson, Jr., executive assistant director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch.
“We’re looking to hire a lot of cyber agents now,” Anderson said. “It’s an area where the FBI and the whole U.S. government will be looking for this talent for years to come.”
Those interested in becoming cyber special agents at the FBI must be aged between 23 and 37, and they must be prepared to pass a rigorous background check and fitness test. Ideal candidates should have a background in fields such as computer programming and security, malware analysis, database administration, digital forensics, and ethical hacking.
“The FBI seeks highly talented, technically trained individuals who are motivated by the FBI’s mission to protect our nation and the American people from the rapidly evolving cyber threat. What we want are people who are going to come and be part of a team that is working different very complex types of investigations and to utilize their skillsets in that team environment,” Anderson noted.
“One thing that no one else can offer is the mission and the camaraderie and the teamwork the FBI brings to the table,” he added. “Cyber agents will be integrated into all the different violations that we work. So whether it’s a counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigation, they could be the lead agent in the case.”
There is a high demand for cyber security professionals these days. A Burning Glass Technologies study published in March showed that there were over 200,000 postings for cybersecurity jobs in the United States last year.
The problem of government organizations is that they can’t offer the same salaries as private companies. For example, the FBI is offering between $59,340 and $76,568 per year for cyber special agents. The same Burning Glass report showed that the average salary for a cybersecurity posting was $93,028 in 2013. The FBI appears to be counting on patriotism to motivate potential candidates and attract talent.