Hackers Win Prizes as Government Spies Seek New IT Blood

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government's top secret GCHQ intelligence agency has launched a contest to find "amateur cyber defenders" to form the next generation of security experts. If you know how to block ports on a router, it could be you.

GCHQ has designed a challenge it calls Balancing the Defence, which asks would-be computer security boffins to "manage the risks posed by attacks from hostile states, organised criminal cyber gangs or even individual hackers" that will be constantly firing in to a simulation of a governmental IT network.

Entrants will be looking for vulnerabilities in the system and prioritising the elimination of threats, while also worrying about budgets and money and the rules put in place as part of the government's security policy. So you'll be part hacker, part stressed pen-pusher.

If you're over 16 and not already working in security you can sign up, with the first wave of the cyber challenge running from October 1st, and later, face-to-face rounds taking place later in the year. [Cyber Security Challenge UK]