back to article UK.gov unleashes 3D virtual world to train GCHQ's kiddie division

The next generation of Blighty's cybersecurity workforce is to be trained without even realising it, in a Cabinet Office-funded cyber skyscraper built "solely to find, test and recruit cyber talent". The cyber skyscraper, which is pleasingly hosted in Skyscape's cloud, has been dubbed Cyphinx. Cyphinx is a browser-based MMO- …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    So, now the gov't is treating cyber crime like a game. It's no game son (and other Hollywood cliches)

  2. Matthew Smith

    Will it involve a holdall?

    Attention players. If you see a sports holdall in the simulation, no matter how interesting it appears, do not attempt to look inside. It doesn't end happily.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will it involve a holdall?

      That's one of the challenges, to get inside and put the padlock on the zip.

    2. razorfishsl

      Re: Will it involve a holdall?

      More than a few S&M gimp fetishists could easily meet that challenge

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you couldn't make it up. *howls with laughter*

    1. PleebSmash
  4. LesC
    Alert

    Why does this remind me of the Dr. Who "School Reunion" featuring Sarah Jane Smith with the Krillitanes wanting world domination????

  5. Matt Black

    Tag them now...

    Consider their motives: I imagine anyone playing on the site will be logged, probably along with my post here...

  6. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Flags....

    It seems to end with "I request urgent medical advice." penicillin to GCHQ sharpish? (I have heard they have need, those honey traps donch'ya'no)

  7. Joerg

    Another way to waste people money.. more taxes for this?

    Seriously... funding these childish nonsense with money collected from taxes is just more dumb stuff that politicians keep doing. How many friends of friends of friends and lovers of lovers of lovers of friends and sons of friends and daugthers and... and the money keeps flowing.. and dirty money keeps flowing... and dumb nonsense projects and dumb nonsense silly games and dumb nonsense silly research pseudo-scientific stuff keeps going on and on and on...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    '"We need to get back to gaming," said Abbot, who reminisced about his Commodore Amiga 1000 and noted a significant overlap between gamers and those with cyber-skills.'

    It might have something to do with both types being "Puzzle People." Puzzles gratify them.

    [I also miss my 1000.]

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    One big problem

    I thought I'd go take a look a this. One big problem -- Unity Web Player is only for Windows and Mac! This is the point where someone would make a snarky comment about Linux having "no" market share or something. 1) Simply not true. 2) This GCHQ-backed site is meant to attract people into infosec, I would expect the demographic drawn to this site to be significantly off the norm in terms of both OS and browser usage.

    edit: Per Google there's kludgey way to make Unity Web Player work as a firefox plugin, that may or may not actually work. But still, I would hope something brand new would just use HTML5 or something.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke
      Joke

      Re: One big problem

      Maybe you have uncovered the sites first real test :-)

      Alternately the target kiddie demographic may not have graduated to linux yet, those that have have probably already turned dark or have settled into a pattern of mistrust and can no longer be reached by 'the good guys'.

  10. razorfishsl

    Don't be shy......... allow your Ego to get it the way of your future, help GCHQ identify potential cyber terrorists whilst you play a 'harmless' game

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Shortage for the goal of.....?

    "there would be a workforce cyber-skills shortage of 1.5 million by 2020"

    There will also be a shortage of hyperdrive shunt operators and xenobiologists, but so what?

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Fiddling About whilst Rome Burns to the Ground?

    We need to get back to gaming," said Abbot....

    Mastery of the Great Game delivers global leadership, and that is what is obviously missing from Cabinet Office funding ventures and exploratory sorties into the the cyber realm, which has absolutely nothing to do with HM and the Palace, unless they are seriously into Secure Secret Rich IT Media Hosting of Great Games Plays with Heavenly Creative Narratives in Devilishly Cunning Ploys.

    The Special Anonymous Toys for SMARTR Boys and Girls and Any and All Postmodern Future Wannabe Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, Great Heroes and, when Entertaining the Dark Side, Grand Villains.

    Fiddle about

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Stop with the cyber...

    ....otherwise I'll have to roll my NT4 box back to 23:59 December 31th 1999 and then you'll be sorry!

  14. Joe Harrison

    Sigh

    Can't we just go back to the good old days when you were only regarded as suitable intelligence material if you went to the right school and your dad knew lord thingy? Then the rest of us can get on with the actual security work.

  15. M7S
    Black Helicopters

    A precursor to deployment of the hypercube?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cube_2:_Hypercube

  16. HideMe
    Alien

    Great comments, but...

    Loving the comments, unfortunately, having actually read a little more about the platform, I can't GCHQ in the platform. In fact, logging in and actually browsing the games in there, there is no GCHQ games in there - I see ProCheckUp, Clearswift and a few others. If they're recruiting and this works, then brilliant.

    I get why this exists, been there, done the 24hr shifts, got out of the industry. Too many security pros doing the SOC work because there's not enough new blood able to do that job yet - so find those who have some interest in the topic and hire them!

    As usual Reg did a fine title to a story, however, my answer is neither amusing nor snarky so my comments can be ignored (Reg-style!). Reaches for tinfoil hat and watches a nice documentary about reptiles.

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