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How to be a Spy?

I recently read this article and I though that I should share it with you.

For spy-wannabes, here is a chance to try out for your dream job...

Here's an excerpt from the article:

LONDON — Psst! Wanna be a spy?


Back in the cloak-and-dagger days of secret intelligence work, Britain’s espionage agencies liked to recruit in the ivied colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, even if that brought them some of the most notorious turncoats of the 20th century, men like Kim Philby and other Cambridge spies who handed atom bomb secrets to the Soviet Union in the 1940s and 1950s before defecting to Moscow.


In the Internet age, the spy catchers have been forced to go digital, democratic and, old-timers might say, outright pop. Their latest wheeze, causing a buzz on the Internet — and stirring a torrent of Web chat among people identifying themselves as hackers — is an online cryptographic puzzle that promises a fast track to recruitment as spies for those who solve it before the challenge expires on Dec. 11.


According to traffic on Twitter, Facebook and scores of other Web sites, at least 50 people have solved the puzzle since it was posted unobtrusively last month. To all but practiced cryptographers, it looks baffling: a rectangular display of 160 letters and numbers, grouped in twos in blue against a black background, under the overline, “Can you crack it?” Beneath it, a digital clock ticks down the seconds left until the competition closes.


The agency that posted the puzzle at www.canyoucrackit.co.uk is one of the oldest, and, espionage experts say, most successful eavesdropping organizations anywhere, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, located in a vast doughnut-shaped building surrounded by huge satellite dishes in parkland near Cheltenham, 120 miles west of London.




Once decrypted, the agency’s online puzzle, through a process experts call steganography, yields a hidden message in the form of a keyword. Those who enter the keyword are led to a Web address, where they are greeted with a congratulatory note. It is signed by a group calling itself Cyber Security Specialists, a newly formed unit within the British agency that is responsible for combating the cyberespionage threat that British officials have listed alongside terrorism, organized crime, and drug and weapons smuggling among the nation’s biggest security threats.


“So you did it,” says the congratulatory message. “Now this is where it gets interesting. Could you use your skills and ingenuity to combat terrorism and cyberthreats? As one of our experts, you’ll help protect our nation’s security and the lives of thousands.” Those interested are then invited to submit a formal job application, leading to interviews for a total of 35 jobs next spring.

Follow the link to give it a try…

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