GCHQ puts out open recruitment call for 'white hat' hackers

Fancy becoming a Bond? Off to Cheltenham and Scarborough with you

GCHQ is openly recruiting computer network operations specialists for the first time.

The signals intelligence agency is looking to hire an unspecified number of staff to work in both cyber-security and cyber-intelligence roles.

Roles include working in teams "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".

Meanwhile, 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".

All of that sounds a lot like developing malware and hacking against all and sundry, including the likes of Belgacom and Gemalto, if the Snowdon leaks are any guide.

Computer network operations are carried out against "terrorists, criminals and others posing a serious threat to the UK", according to GCHQ.

"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 said.

Both graduates and non-graduates who are aged 18 or over and who have complex coding and problem-solving skills are invited to apply to the starting-level jobs. The starting salary is £27,913 and the start date will depend on successful candidates achieving security clearance.

Places are available in Cheltenham and Scarborough (our emphasis).

"We’re looking to recruit at least 80 people as Computer Network Operations Specialists, from internal and external sources, in this financial year," a GCHQ spokesperson told El Reg via email.

Successful candidates can look forward to benefiting from training from some of the best and brightest in the technology world.

In a statement, a GCHQ spokesperson explained: "We are 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."

Those interested are invited to apply through GCHQ’s careers website. ®

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