GCHQ launch new online “Can You Find It?” challenge

gchq-challenge

Back in 2012 the folks at GCHQ (the UK Government Communications Headquarters) launched an online challenge aimed at both experienced and self-taught techies to crack a series of cryptic codes. This proved incredibly popular with the site receiving over 3.2 million unique users and over 5,000 entries.

This year they’ve followed this up by launching a new “Can You Find It?” challenge where you have to find and solve 5 codes that they’ve hidden around the web. The aim of these online challenges is to help the agency identify the Alan Turings of tomorrow. The complex codes in the current challenge have been created by a GCHQ team of top mathematicians aiming at recruiting the smartest, not necessarily the most experienced candidates. GCHQ’s Head of Resourcing, Jane Jones, said: “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.” 

By taking part and completing the challenge you can discover whether you have the right skills to be employed by a national intelligence and security agency that works in partnership with MI5 and MI6. Prove your intellect and tenacious creativity and get a chance to support the Government’s national cyber security agenda. In addition to a potential job at GCHQ with a salary of between £26-£60k (depending on experience and qualifications) the competition also gives you the chance to enter a prize draw to win a Google Nexus 7 or a Raspberry Pi, i.e. a credit-card sized computer that plugs into a TV and keyboard to help people all over the world learn programming.

Starting from ‘Can you Find it?’ entrants will have six weeks to hunt down four codes. Once found, each one has to be entered into the challenge website to unveil the next clue until the final one is discovered

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