In Partnership with 74

Kids learn to hack and crack in cyberspace at NSA summer camp

LA School Report | July 20, 2015



Support LA School Report's year-end campaign. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar.

New York Times logo

By Nicholas Fandos

This is not your typical summer sleepaway camp.

Bonfires and archery? Try Insecure Direct Object References and A1-Injections.

The dozen or so teenagers staring at computers in a Marymount University classroom here on a recent day were learning — thanks to a new National Security Agency cybersecurity program that reaches down into the ranks of American high school and middle school students — the entry-level art of cracking encrypted passwords.

“We basically tried a dictionary attack,” Ben Winiger, 16, of Johnson City, Tenn., said as he typed a new command into John The Ripper, a software tool that helps test and break passwords. “Now we’re trying a brute-force attack.”

Click here for the full story.

Read Next