Can you crack the code?

That's the question Britain's electronic listening agency, GCHQ, is asking in an online campaign (www.canyoucrackit.co.uk/) to find the next generation of cyber specialists.

GCHQ quietly launched a cryptic website last month featuring a box of code made up of numbers and letters. There is no branding on the site, only the phrase “Can you crack it?” and a box to type in an answer. The agency has now revealed it is behind the campaign, and said on Friday that it's trying to reach individuals with “a keen interest in code breaking and ethical hacking” for careers at GCHQ. “It's to arouse interest in people who perhaps might not be caught by our normal recruitment campaigns,” a spokesman said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. GCHQ said the fast-moving pace of the digital arena and cybersecurity means it must find new ways to engage with prospective candidates, who typically have entered the agency as graduates. It said it has been using social media to get the word out.

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