back to article GCHQ recruits spotty teens – for upcoming Hack Idol

The GCHQ-backed Cyber Security Challenge UK is bringing cybersecurity education to UK schoolkids aged from 12 to 18 with the importation of the US-created Cyber Patriot programme. The US Air Force Association ​CyberPatriot youth programme involves as battle of wits in cyberspace involving 1,500 international teams of under-18s …

Black Helicopters

Start tracking them young

I guess any team that shows significant skill, even outside of the qualifying group will be tracked by GCHQ for the rest of their days. Probably a cheap way of identifying those with the skill set to wage a cyber war early on in life.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Start tracking them young

" Probably a cheap way of identifying those with the skill set to wage a cyber war early on in life."

Well they might find a few, but if they're any good why would they want endure the drudgery of life as a civil servant?

I worked on defence computing as a civil servant (before we parted ways as mutually incompatible), and the civil service is enough to drive you mad, with its penchant for inaction, bureaucracy and sloth, coupled with a tolerance of incompetence and waste.

I suppose if these youngster join GCHQ then they might get the chance of an exciting secondment to MI6....on second thoughts maybe that's not such a good idea.

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Re: Start tracking them young

Well it doesn't matter if they _want_ to do it. Because of information asymmetry they can simply be blackmailed into such positions.

This is why the Chaos Computer Club heavily advises against any sort of such cooperation. There simply is no way you can win in such a situation.

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Childcatcher

Preemptive Strike

The competition consists of two rounds ...downloading a virtual computer image full of vulnerabilities that could present opportunities for a cyber criminal. The teams have ...to identify and fix these vulnerabilities.

No, changing the OS is not an option (because it is the very first thing I thought of).

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Anonymous Coward

As a child to a car mechanic ....

I learned very early not to let anyone know I could pick locks ....

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"the vase majority"

yet more chinese hackers?

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Re: "the vase majority"

You seem to be jaded about this?

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Re: "the vase majority"

Imagine all that bandwidth, they could download and view lots of ming <sic>.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And your reward

Was involved with a 3-letter agency back in the 80s.

Similar recruitment policy. Sponsorship to kids from 'good schools' with 3A's (in the 80s when this counted), Oxbridge places, and lots of good extra-curricula.

Strangely enough these kids all graduated and got jobs in the city rather than come and work in the middle of nowhere for squaddy-level wages.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And your reward

No the funny bit was the security interview. Some bloke in tweeds straight out of a John Le Carre novel asking "did any of the masters at school talk about socialism?".

I went to a comprehensive in the rough end of Newcastle - the 'masters' thought Arthur Scargill was a running dog lackey of imperialism.

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Re: And your reward

Likewise, I did a Masters with lots of spooks and military types in a good UK uni in the 90s. Kept getting approached to work for a pittance and calls were made to my love of country. The foreign passport and service in the French military did not deter them.

Rum coves.

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VM

Step 1. download the VM

Step 2. start the VM

It is Windows XP,

Step 3. reformat and install Linux or BSD*

* as it does not require the teams to purchase additional licences or pirate.

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Linux

Re: VM

>It is Windows XP,

is it any version of Windows?

FIFY

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I think the best method of secure information in WWII Black Phantom Letter Courier. Its common sense don't keep nuke codes and spooks details on an internet enabled device.

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Anonymous Coward

funny someone mentioned wages...

anyone with the skill should just do it themselves and sell it to the highest bidder.

Like existing professional do. A few million becomes loose change when they grow up.

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Do you want an Eagle with your Freedoms?

"US-created Cyber Patriot programme."

Everyone abandon thread!

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Stop

I would hope the real test ...

is to permanently bar anyone thick enough to download an alleged VM image from "the security services" from having any say in IT ever again.

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Anonymous Coward

It's a trap

Everyone knows Windows XP is secure by design.

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See foot, shoot

Teaching a lot of teenagers how to break into computers. What could go wrong?

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GCHQ

One of these bright young chaps could be the Edward Snowden of the future.

Be careful what you wish for, GCHQ.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: GCHQ

Let's hope so.

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