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Cybersecurity Jobs

Tech giant Google has announced it's on the lookout to hire Australia's best and brightest hackers. Hackers are normally known for trying to steal other people's information or take down websites. So why would one of the biggest technology companies in the world want to hire them?

It really is all about protecting the security and privacy of people, businesses, even governments, from the bad guys online.

Hacks happen every day all around the world. The ones we hear about most are done by 'black-hat' hackers. They know a lot about computer systems and software and they use their skills to break in so they can steal, change or destroy information. They can do stuff like disrupt or shut down important websites, steal personal details, share secret documents, or take control of accounts.

But did you know that hackers can also be the good guys? Ethical or 'white-hat' hackers are people who know how to hack, but they use those powers for good. With their knowledge and skills, they can protect systems from bad hackers, investigate hacks that have already happened and work out if security systems are good enough by testing if they can hack them.

ALEX LINKER, STUDENT: The thing that interests me about cyber security is you have to take something someone's already built up and you have to basically put yourself in their frame of mind and figure out how to break it.

These IT students are wannabe white-hat hackers and once they've learnt the skills they need they're going to be in high demand. Australia's government says it needs good hackers to help keep information safe and even to do super-secret spy things for its intelligence agencies! But big businesses need these skills too. Recently, Google announced it wanted to hire Australia's best hackers to keep the search engine - which is used by more than one billion people - secure.

PARISA TABRIZ, GOOGLE'S TOP SECURITY EXPERT: We're looking for people who are smart, who sometimes want to think like a hacker and break systems, but ultimately want to make software more secure for people.

But 'Cyber Security Whiz' is still a pretty new job description that changes as technology does, and experts are already worried Australia doesn't have enough good hackers to go 'round. So they say we need more young people to think about studying hacking and cyber security, and universities are still trying to work out the best way to teach students to do that! But experts say you're never too young to learn how to hack.

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Andy Chen
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