Britain seeking 'Xbox generation' spies (Update)

Oct 18, 2012

Britain launched a new spy recruitment drive on Thursday aimed at "Xbox generation" youngsters without a university education but with social media and computer game skills to counter the threat of cyber attack.

Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the apprenticeship scheme in a speech at Bletchley Park in southern England, where Nazi Germany's Enigma codes were broken in World War II.

Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence agency, which was located at Bletchley Park during the war, is looking for 100 new recruits from outside the traditional university route.

Instead, applications are being sought from youngsters with A-level qualifications—normally taken by pupils who stay an extra two years at school until the age of 18—or vocational qualifications in science, technology or engineering.

"We face constant and growing threats from crime and attacks in cyberspace," Hague said.

"We want to step up our efforts to find the most talented people to help sustain and secure the UK's code-breaking and cyber expertise for the future.

"It will be the young innovators of this generation who will help keep our country safe in years to come against threats which are every bit as serious as some of those confronted in the Second World War."

Recruits will spend two years learning about communications, security and engineering and take up roles at GCHQ or in the other intelligence agencies.

"If the UK is to maintain a leading role on cyber issues to enhance the UK's economic growth, we must harness experts from the 'Xbox generation' who have grown up with a world of social media, global connectivity and interactive gaming," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

GCHQ, whose website carries the motto "keeping our society safe and successful in the Internet age", is based in a doughnut-shaped building in Cheltenham, southwest England. It employs around 5,300 people.

Explore further: Britain threatens Internet 'trolls' with two years in jail

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UK spy agency asks academics to tackle cyber risks

Sep 13, 2012

(AP)—Britain's government says a new research institute partly funded by the country's eavesdropping spy agency will ask mathematicians and computer scientists to join the fight against cyber threats.

UK govt to announce new cyber security strategy

Nov 25, 2011

The government is set to announce new measures to tackle cyber crime on Friday as Britain's internet and electronic communications network comes under increased attack from hackers and foreign intelligence ...

Code-cracking puzzle for wannabe British spies

Dec 01, 2011

No longer content with simply approaching the brightest from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Britain's intelligence agency GCHQ has launched a code-cracking competition to attract new talent.

UK looks to young geeks to secure cyberspace

Jun 25, 2009

(AP) -- Britain is hiring former computer hackers to join a new security unit aimed at protecting cyberspace from foreign spies, thieves and terrorists, the country's terrorism minister said.

Recommended for you

Facebook unfriends federal drug agency

Oct 17, 2014

(AP)—Facebook wants assurances from the Drug Enforcement Administration that it's not operating any more fake profile pages as part of ongoing investigations.

Obama unveils new measures to stem identity theft

Oct 17, 2014

US President Barack Obama on Friday ordered "pin and chip" security measures for government payment systems, aiming to stem the proliferation of credit card fraud and identity theft.

User comments : 0