back to article Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you

Spooks have called upon the good people of Blighty to help protect an airline from attack by a vicious group of nerdy cyber-terrorists. That might sound like the secret services are getting a bit desperate, but don't worry kids: it's only a game. The bods at GCHQ have announced a new part of the Cyber Security Challenge UK …

  1. JimmyPage

    Nominative determinism or in-joke. You decide.

    Chris Ensor is deputy director for the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance

    So his post is addressed C.Ensor ?

    Really ?

    1. g e

      Re: Nominative determinism or in-joke. You decide.

      Not to mention that the whole thing sounds like a cyber Ender's Game

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Nominative determinism or in-joke. You decide.

      And Mr. Ensor probably reports to the director, who is presumably named Stephen Pook or Norman Vasive...

      1. Charles Manning

        Re: Nominative determinism or in-joke. You decide.

        Norman or not, Vasive sounds very foreign. Better keep an eye on him.

        Get them to serve borscht in the canteen and see if he takes a bowl.

  2. Ashton Black


    From what I heard █████████ is ██████████████ and then █████, so there you have it.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Well...

      Really? My sources tell me it was █████████ -- but without the cauliflowers.

    2. TheSkunkMonk

      Re: Well...

      Damn it! Even the police weren't that clever. Now we will never know who, what and where :(

  3. Graham Marsden


    Didn't he create Orac...?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ensor?

      Hence the in joke reference ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ensor?

        ..because Orac was designed to be able to read/control all computers based on Ensor's chip.

  4. Anomalous Cowshed

    Future conversations

    In the pub, conversation openers:

    "You can find amazing mushrooms in them forests...I mean, you know...around wherever..."

    "The other day I went went somewhere, you say you support Man United?"

    "My boss...I mean someone random I met the other day, says something."

    At home:

    "How was work, dear?"

    "Work? Er...I don't know...I mean, swell, darling. I sold lots of widgets and I might get promoted to deputy assistant sales executive next year!"

    Wife (muttering to herself) - "What's all this 'swell' business about? I bet he's been hanging out with some American woman!".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Future conversations

      Funny as it is, you do touch on a problem I see looming: who leads these people (not "manages", that's IMHO for equipment)? If you do this military style you'll lose most of the creativity you need to succeed, and they are too valuable (IMHO) to treat them like numbers.

      Doing THAT right may well represent the way to make this people successful (and lower the chance of another Snowden - the moral dilemma MUSt be dealt with properly too).

  5. Whitter

    Programmers who won't talk about work?

    Sounds ideal!

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Regarding these/those Novel Fields of Greater Games Play

    Spooks and ghosts are into changing everything for everyone and the smartest of the smarter ones do IT better than anyone else can, and that is not just because they can both realise and virtualise imagination.

    Please consider the reality and/or likely possibility and therefore inevitable probability of the following actuality ....

    I think if they were pro's you would not even know they were there... And they would not use phishing to gain access as it is quite detectable. .... xxxxx yyyyy said 19 August 2014 09:04

    Hi, xxxxx yyyyy,

    Methinks it is realised [certainly by those in the field] that pros, whether state sponsored or freelancing private sector entrepreneurial types of the black and through grey and brilliant white hatted brigade of brigand and boffin hue, are hacked into and cracking wide open everything and sharing the secret gems of information and intelligence in stores that abound in those now lost command and controls of the former few.

    And whether the hacks and cracks are detectable by incumbent executive and attendant security systems administrations matters not a jot when that invading and destroying corrupted and perverse systems of operation/micro and macro universal management are effectively anonymous and relatively invisible, practically intangible and virtually autonomous.

    'Tis a prime ignorant fool and arrogant's tool to create them as the phantom enemy to be defeated and/or attacked rather than embraced and surrendered to for the comfort of future sweet sticky delights with no bitter unpleasant aftertaste.

    RE:"Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD / Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent"

    I had to laugh at this one :)

    :-) Quite so. And that renders any utterance on all such deliberations as pure detached second and third party guesswork identifying their own most favoured path. And such would have nothing at all to do with that and/or those they be monitoring, and even less so if engaged with any who be grooming them to believe in a certain particular and peculiarly enlightening path.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Regarding these/those Novel Fields of Greater Games Play

      Couldn't have put it better myself!

  7. Alister

    Well there's one thing, working in IT for GCHQ is one of the few places in Britain where you're unlikely to have your job outsourced...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Not quite

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well there's one thing, working in IT for GCHQ is one of the few places in Britain where you're unlikely to have your job outsourced...

      Tell that to DERA...

  8. Crisp

    fAiling tO cApitalise tHe sEcond lEtter?

    Quite possibly one of the most heinous crimes I've ever heard of!

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why bother, GCHQ are a government department and like all government departments pay peanuts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's worse than that....

      Compared to the private sector, yes they pay peanuts, but depending on the grade it's still theoretically a liveable wage.

      Why theoretically? Because the cost of living in Cheltenham is fucking horrific, so unless you fancy a long commute you might as well live somewhere else and stack shelves for a living.

      I'm slightly paranoid by nature anyway, so won't be touching the challenge with a barge-pole

      1. Aldous

        The grad scheme pays about 10k les then the equivalent from the big tech companies which also have the advantage of not needing a full rubber glove security check and doing dubious acts to "protect"people.

        The only thing GCHQ has going for it is the security clearance which is hard to get otherwise. They are expecting the top of the pile but paying bottom of the pile wages.

  11. telecine

    Ooh look it's the Maginot line...


  12. Christian Berger

    Even if you are not paranoid

    You will know that you will have to do harm the people around you and all over the world. You will be responsible for opposition forces in some country being tracked to kill them because your prime minister likes the dictator in their country. You will have to find security holes and are not allowed to get them fixed. If you take such a job, you will make the world a worse place... and if you want to quit they have more than enough information on you to blackmail you into staying.

    If secret services would act for the common good, they would do so publicly, or at least disclose what they did after a sensible amount of time. What we see instead are secret services fighting of every little bit of democratic oversight they have. The sensible thing would be to close them down, and maybe, if we kind parts of them useful, to recreate those parts.

  13. Charles Manning

    Do games really get the message across?

    I offererd to take my FPS-playing son to the shooting range to fire some real guns. Not interested.

    Some people people want to blame games for all the violence in the world, yet we actually know the world is a less violent place now than any other time in human history. I'm certainly not crediting games with the reduction in violence, but it sure has not made things worse.

    From that we can say that what people do in games has little to do with what they want to do in real life. It is just escapist fantasy.

    Will any of the GCHQ pixel-warriors actually want to spend their whole live in spooksville? I doubt it.

    1. Looper

      Re: Do games really get the message across?

      Not generalising then?

      Not all the violence, SOME of the violence. It's not black and white.

      We know what? Try telling that to war-torn African and Middle Eastern countries.

      It is fantasy, but not everything, or everybody is black or white.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021