GCHQ hiring student hackers to target terrorists

Britain’s security and intelligence organisation, GCHQ, is openly recuiting students and graduates specialising in ‘ethical hacking’, digital forensics and information security.

In a press release issued today, it notes: “This is the first time that GCHQ has openly recruited for Computer Network Operations Specialists (CNOS). At GCHQ, CNOS work in both cyber security and cyber intelligence roles.

“In cyber security, operations specialists may find themselves working in a team detecting and preventing attempts to attack the critical national infrastructure, or seeking to defend government systems against criminals seeking to steal information, identities or money.

“Cyber intelligence specialists might need to develop software to access the computers of a terrorist group, or carry out operations to retrieve vital online clues about the location and identity of members of an organised crime ring.

According to Forbes magazine they will be “tasked with creating the malware and hacking techniques similar to those detailed in the Edward Snowden documents.

“Indeed, they will form part of a team that has been very active in the state-sponsored hacking arena.”

GCHQ said that “strict legal controls, safeguards and requirements apply to all GCHQ’s activities, which can only be carried out for the statutory purposes and in support of the national security priorities that are set by ministers”.

It added: “Our work is unique and it makes a difference to the UK. Our current campaign to recruit Computer Network Operations Specialists means new entrants get to fully play their part”.

The agency is looking for people with a diverse range of backgrounds and experience, so training is tailored to meet the needs of the individual and the role.

“The need to keep up with changing technology means that those we recruit continue learning and developing throughout a career in computer network operations,” it said.

For the CNOS campaign, GCHQ is recruiting both graduates and non-graduates who are aged 18 or over and who have “complex coding and problem-solving skills”.