UK SPY AGENCY GCHQ is looking for people to help protect the government against cyber attacks.
The agency has kicked off a competition that asks amateur security fans to help protect a simulated government IT system from a range of simulated attacks.
Balancing the Defence is open to anyone 16 and older and not "actively working in cyber security". It asks entrants to take on a number of challenges, or attacks, from criminal gangs, hostile states and individuals. GCHQ launched the competition today and it runs through the first week of October.
Players get to run a fake network, check for vulnerabilities in it and suggest defensive controls and techniques that could be used on it.
The challenge is part of a wider push to find security savvy people in the UK, and in August the Metropolitan Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU), Raytheon, Qinetiq, HP and KPMG all backed a boot camp for up and coming computer security testers.
"Cyber Security Challenge UK has proved itself a very accomplished mechanism for finding new talent. We hope this competition will uncover those who have the vital mix of technical ability and business awareness to make tough decisions in the best interest of an organisation," said "Karl", the designer of this most recent competition.
"At GCHQ we are committed to finding and developing the new cyber security skills in the UK and these are the skills sets employers including ourselves are most interested in."
Those that do well in this stage will move on to the next part of the Cyber Security Challenge UK. According GCHQ this pits players against each other in a face to face situation, and asks them to protect a racing car team's intellectual property. µ
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