View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you

GCHQ backs challenge to find tomorrow’s cyber police

British surveillance body seeks fresh talent despite on-going charges of malpractice.

By Jimmy Nicholls

GCHQ, the British government’s surveillance body, has backed a cyber battle contest to find recruits from the amateur hacking community.

The fifth Cyber Security Challenge (CSC) will see candidates battling with the fictitious organisation Flag Day Associates, the first time recurring characters have been introduced into the series.

Adam Kramer, of the National Crime Agency, who developed the challenge, said: "Whether it’s the creation and spread of malicious software, or attempting to steal banking details, those charged with investigating cyber crime need to have the technical ability, knowledge and understanding to defend the UK and its citizens from cyber related attacks."

Flag Day was revealed in a Youtube video at the end of a previous class run by CSC, in a parody of terrorism clips released during crime waves.

The announcement appears at a time of widespread criticism of the controversial organisation, recently subject to a legal complaint from Privacy International.

"Arbitrary powers such as these are the purview of dictatorships not democracies," Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International, said, in an interview with the BBC.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

"Unrestrained, unregulated government spying of this kind is the antithesis of the rule of law and government must be held accountable for their actions."

In an interview with Al Jazeera, the journalist Glenn Greenwald recently confirmed that there many more revelations about the NSA/GCHQ spying programme still to be revealed.

Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden stories for the Guardian, has just released a book detailing the investigation, called No Place to Hide.

A spokesman from the NCA said they did not believe public outrage at the extent of government snooping would deter people from entering the competition.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.