GCHQ trawls internet for would-be code crackers

Intellingence agency launches hunt for information security spooks of tomorrow.

You're hired

GCHQ has launched a hunt for the next generation of cyber security experts through its "Can You Find It?" campaign.

The initiative, launched earlier today, is designed to help the UK security agency uncover people who can crack a series of cryptic puzzles, which are hosted on the Can You Find It? website, that will lead them to "the ultimate final answer".

Among the prizes offered are a Google Nexus 7 or Raspberry Pi, while highly skilled applicants could end up with a job at the spying organisation with a salary of between 26,000 and 60,000.

A spokesperson for TMP, the resourcing firm helping GCHQ with the challenge, said: "The complex codes have been created by a GCHQ team of top mathematicians.

"They set a high bar for recruiting curious, tenacious and creative candidates who have the intellectual ability, though not necessarily the practical experience or qualifications, to join GCHQ and support the Government's national cyber security agenda," they said.

In particular, the challenge is designed for people who love problem solving and computer technology, the spokesperson added.

The "Can You Find It" challenge follows on from last year's "Can You Crack It?" contest, which ran throughout the year and was accessed by 3.2 million users.

That promotion resulted in 170 people being considered for a job with GCHQ, although the organisation has not stated how many people it would be looking to recruit this time around.

GCHQ's head of resourcing, Jane Jones, said the campaigns played an important role in the organisation's efforts to recruit security professionals.

"The 21st century is confronting us with online threats that are difficult and dangerous, so we want employees who have evolved with the ever-changing digital world and therefore have the right skills to combat these challenges. It's a puzzle but it's also a serious test the jobs on offer here are vital to protecting national security," Jones explained.

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