UK Spy Agency Looking for 'Ethical' Hackers to Crack Code

Hackers are seen as rebels and a threat to cyber security, but a British electronic listing agency is on a search for the best cyber specialist for “ethical hacking.”

According to the Associated Press, Britain’s electronic listening agency GCHQ quietly launched a cryptic website last month featuring a box of code composed of numbers and letters.

Besides the numbers and letters, the website also has the time remaining for participants, which –as of Friday-is set at nine days.

There is no branding on the website, only the phrase: “Can you crack it?”

The agency directs potential candidates to the competition through websites like Facebook and Twitter.

As cyber security and technology expands into a more important role in the world, GCHQ is recruiting hackers to help improve their own technological interests.

"Traditionally, cyber specialists enter the organization as graduates,” said a spokesperson for GCHQ.

"However, with the nature of computer threats ever changing, it is essential we allow candidates who may be self-taught, but have a keen interest in code-breaking and ethical hacking, to enter the recruitment route too,” the spokesperson continued.

"Our target audience is not typically attracted to traditional advertising methods and may be unaware that GCHQ is recruiting for these kind of roles,” the spokesperson added.

GCHQ said any potential code breaking recruits will be rigorously vetted and any applicants who have previously hacked illegally will be rooted out.

Cracking the code reveals a keyword, and after it is entered into a space on the website - it prompts the GCHQ job-recruitment website to appear.

More than 50 people have successfully cracked the code so far, but only 80 percent have submitted an application, the spokesperson told AP.