Like skilled cat burglars, teams of college-age hackers slithered past defenses to probe the soft underbelly of a sophisticated computer system.
Their mission: to steal secrets and leave an electronic calling card.
As they tapped away on laptops and spoke in low voices, knots of educators, business leaders, parents and government officials hovered nearby, smiling and nodding with approval. In the eyes of the organizers of the Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference, today's hacker could be tomorrow's cybersecurity hero.
"We need a whole generation of people to help us build out the digital future," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National...