Business, Finance & Economics

Britain uses code-cracking comp to recruit spies

The British intelligence agency, GCHQ, is recruiting – and it's launched code-cracking competition to sniff out new talent, the BBC reports.

Applicants are being invited to solve an elaborate puzzle, which has been published on this unbranded website. Apparently the ad was launched in secret back on November 3.

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The “employment ad”, which requires users to determine a key word from a grid of numbers and letters, has also been distributed via Facebook and Twitter, among other forums.

If you have a British passport and fancy yourself as a spy, you'd better get cracking: at the time of publication, the puzzle had a remaining 10 days, 12 hours and 28 minutes before its expiry.

Those smart enough to crack the code will be redirected to GCHQ's website and invited to apply for a job, the Inquirer reported.

An unnamed GCHQ spokesman said that through the ad, the agency hoped to raise its profile.

"The target audience for this particular campaign is one that may not typically be attracted to traditional advertising methods and may be unaware that GCHQ is recruiting for these kinds of roles."

Hopefuls who have been convicted of illegal hacking are ineligible to apply.