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GCHQ looks to recruit teens to help fight cyber attacks with summer camp initiative


By Gillian West, Social media manager

February 4, 2017 | 2 min read

GCHQ is turning to teenagers to help prepare for possible cyber attacks.

Over the summer security services will be running 2,500 residential courses for teenagers, as well as a series of one-day events ‘CyberFirst adventures’, aimed at 11-year-olds.

The initiative comes after MPs published a report on the Britain’s cyber security defences which argued that the UK ranked below Brazil, South Africa and China for keeping phones and laptops secure.

The summer camps have been set up by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) with 1,000 work placements and bursaries available to the “brightest and best” students, as part of a scheme to recruit more young talent.

Cairan Martin, the head of NCSC, commented: “A thousand cyber first graduates is a thousand steps on the way to building the world class cyber security workforce at a national level. These are skills we desperately need.”

Ben Gummer, MP, minister for the cabinet office, added the government is “determined to face up to the growing challenge of cyber threats and grow the talent we need for the future.”

This week defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon warned that Russia is “weaponising information” accusing Moscow of using cyber weaponry to “disrupt critical infrastructure and disable democratic machinery” in western countries.

Earlier this year GCHQ unveiled a competition target at 13-15 year-old girls in a bid to recruit more female spies.

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