back to article GCHQ summer schools to pay teenage hackers £250 a week

Hey, teenage hackers, do you want to infilitrate GCHQ to become the next Edward Snowden? The spooks are offering £250 a week - money you'll need to save for when you're subsequently awarded accommodation at Her Majesty's luxury resort at Belmarsh. Here's your entry route: applications are now open for the surveillance agency's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring your own holdall

    And a "whodunnit" novel as a case study.

    1. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: Bring your own holdall

      but don't get locked inside it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bring your own holdall

      'Steam-Cleaning services available on request.'

  2. Aaiieeee
    Unhappy

    Summer school?

    I recommend you go and have fun instead. You have the rest of your life to be working over the summer

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Summer school?

      Agreed. We don't need to copy the American style concentration camps for kids.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Summer school?

      Either that or find a better paying job.

      That equates to ~ 6.50 per hour. For example in my first school job during my last year in high school I got more than twice than that as a trainee tech in a biochem lab. It was roughly the equivalent of 14£ per hour in todays' UK money.

      The immigrants washing cars in the local supermarket make more (before the slave trader that shipped 'em has collected its fee).

      The "these are kids" supermarket checkout slavetrader excuse specifically invented to circumvent minimum salary legislation should not apply either. It is supposedly qualified labor too and subject to vetting on top of it.

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: Summer school?

        "It is supposedly qualified labor too and subject to vetting on top of it."

        Two points - its not qualified labor - they will be there to learn not to work.

        Secondly - I very much doubt that they will be going through the very expensive and time consuming process of vetting everyone (At least not past BPSS) as I highly doubt that they will have access to anything coming close to sensitive.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Summer school?

          Two points - its not qualified labor - they will be there to learn not to work.

          Secondly - I very much doubt that they will be going through the very expensive and time consuming process of vetting everyone (At least not past BPSS) as I highly doubt that they will have access to anything coming close to sensitive.

          Then, why the f*** do it? Just go and chose something more real. Even helping your local builder mix mortar is more useful - you at least learn something.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Summer school?

        Ah yes, you'll be earning less than any of your mates, or alternately not having fun going away with your friends over the Summer... But you forget - GCHQ can "compete on the value of our Mission".

        Which, if you want to spy on your fellow Brits, genuflect before a painting of Teresa May in the lobby every morning and read Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas' emails to each other, is going to be your dream job.

        (N.b. They don't actually have a painting of Theresa May in the lobby. I think.)

  3. 0laf Silver badge

    I dunno it's not a bad little gig with the free accomodation. But if money is actually an issue I earned more than that as a summer student working in a factory nearly 20yr ago. Can't say it aided my career directly but I definitely knew I didn't want to end up working on a production line.

    1. Efros

      Indeed, one of the prime motivators for me finishing my degree was reflecting on my holiday jobs and the people I worked with. Great people and good to work with, some of them had been sweeping factory floors for 20 years, earning a living and looking after their families, and precisely none of them wanted their kids to follow them. Most of them were very supportive and encouraging of this green student. As a teenager you see that working in a deadly dull job is a necessity for some, this sorts out your priorities, or it did for me at least, when you are given the opportunities not to follow a similar career path.

  4. IT Hack

    Facepalm

    Reminds me of the ads I keep getting to learn how to become an ethical hacker.

    I bet they don't even vet the entrants.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Facepalm

      When you say vet the entrants.. why?

      Do you think they will be given access to anything even close to sensitive? Vetting is expensive and time consuming (SC can take months to come through and costs thousands) what would be the point of tying up the vetting process with a bunch of teenagers who will have access to absolutely fAll in terms of sensitive data?

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Facepalm

        >>"what would be the point of tying up the vetting process with a bunch of teenagers who will have access to absolutely fAll in terms of sensitive data?"

        Presumably to avoid GCHQ teaching a bunch of hacking skills or whatever to the latest subversive / terrorist / activist / whatever, I would presume.

        If they're not vetting them, then what they're teaching can't be that awesome. Or if it is, they should be vetted. No?

        1. IT Hack

          Re: Facepalm

          >>"what would be the point of tying up the vetting process with a bunch of teenagers who will have access to absolutely fAll in terms of sensitive data?"

          Presumably to avoid GCHQ teaching a bunch of hacking skills or whatever to the latest subversive / terrorist / activist / whatever, I would presume.

          If they're not vetting them, then what they're teaching can't be that awesome. Or if it is, they should be vetted. No?

          ---------------------

          Yes. I fear this is yet more taxpayer money being spunked by some PFY in some obscure government dept in an attempt to follow some vague directive to make it cool for kids. This is not serious. If it were serious they'd be targeting the most promising maths prodigies and the like. The ones winning the appropriate academic accolades.

        2. WatAWorld

          They'll be taught hacking techniques and turned lose on the world.

          They'll be taught hacking techniques and turned lose on the world.

          Most of them won't stay with GCHQ, and those that do will rise to executive ranks.

          Either way, vetting and ethical training are vital.

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    We encourage them not to mention it on CVs they upload to the internet

    Well, this will be the route that most of them will be submitting their job applications, so it seems that they need to secure the interview where that-which-may-not-be-mentioned-online may be disclosed without disclosing it earlier.

    Which is very weird. The course is public knowledge, so why should you not talk about participating?

    Well, I doubt it's for national security reasons. I suspect it's more about inculcating a sense of needless secrecy to extend the perceived difference between us and them. Got to catch 'em early if you're going to perpetuate the inner state.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We encourage them not to mention it on CVs they upload to the internet

      One of my classmates from primary school works for GCHQ. He was a bit creepy really.

      The sort of guy that would read 1984, and the only thing he'd get from it would be: "I want to be just like O'Brian when I grow up".

  6. SolidSquid

    "We encourage them not to mention it on CVs they upload to the internet"

    It'll be good experience and look great on your CV! Just don't add it to a CV any technical companies are likely to see

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Cyber Insider... will run from 4 July to 9 September in Cheltenham"

    Conversation heard in Cheltenham on 9 September:

    Dave: Thanks guys. I'm off back to Uni now. See you around.

    Computer: I can't let you do that, Dave.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £250 a week

    that's rather for high-quality hacking services, non?

  9. Dieter Haussmann

    The role holder will work as part of the False Flag Team to provide first line attacks to support the justification for the Government's plans to restrict the internet, introduce requirements to log everything by everyone and ban encryption.

    1. WatAWorld

      Dieter, you've nailed it

      Training kids in hacking and turning them loose on the world.

      Push up the rate of cybercrime to Russian levels and justify widespread total surveillance of us all.

      The UK is well on the path to Chekism.

  10. Joeman

    Crime pays, uk.gov dont...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snitch, as Ricky Gervais would say.

    Remember ultimately your working for Teresa May, now if that doesn't put you off, remember that you'll be forever on their radar, whatever you do. Also commercial security coding pays a lot, lot more. Think of humanity, then think Teresa May, which side is your bread buttered?

  12. Roo
    Windows

    "GCHQ can compete on the value of our Mission"

    Sadly GCHQ can't compete on the value of their mission because the public is not allowed to find out what GCHQ actually achieve, so that's a non-starter.

    So we have a bunch of folks who are beyond the law grooming a bunch of minors at a summer camp with the promise of better pay and a never-to-be-repeated-in-public mission statement... What could possibly go wrong ?

  13. Crazy Operations Guy

    Can't buy loyalty

    Its not the money that is scaring away potential applicants, its the bad reputation of the organizations. If these organizations start doing good, like protecting the nation from malware, scammers, spam, identity thieves, and attacks, then they'll see people lining up just to submit their applications. Set up a wing to analyze malware and release code to destroy it; identify botnets and start blocking the C+C servers. Or at the very least, just be transparent about what is happening with the data they gather.

    Make it an organization that people could brag about to anyone and be responded to with praise and your only employment problem would be trying to not drown in the flood of competent applicants.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Can't buy loyalty

      All of that, plus you can't smoke the occasional 'herbal cigarette'. Oh, and you probably can't check your bloody FB every 30 seconds.

  14. Mike Shepherd

    Oh joy

    Learn how to be a civil servant *and* get paid for it.

  15. WibbleMe

    So how much would they pay a seasoned web developer?

  16. TonyJ Silver badge

    Heard yourselves?

    "I earned more than that 25 years ago..."

    "Why bother?"

    I doubt very much that holiday work experience type jobs - especially ones including free accomodation - paid more than that back then. My own Saturday jobs tended to be about a tenner a day.

    And you guys reall do seem to have zero idea of the modern world of employment - even part time - for teenagers. Go and search online for some of thr stats for teens not in education or work. It's an astounding figure.

    Some of you need to step down from your ivory towers once in a while. Maybe, just maybe, there are teenagers out there with an interest in this kind of thing, or who may wish to pursue say a commission in the military for whom this would look really quite good on the CV?

    Or how about the simple fact of them getting off their backsides and doing something for themselves.

    Stop sucking the joy out of every last article and take your heads out of your arses and occasionally try taking a look around at, and take a part in, the world around you.

    I'd be very proud of either of my lads if, were they the right age, took it upon themselves to do something like this.

  17. Martin Summers Silver badge

    It's always graduates and kids generally fresh out of education I'm hearing about getting opportunities to get into things like this. I'm in my mid 30's (happens to be my birthday as of half an hour ago, happy birthday me) and I'd love the chance to get into something like this to serve my country. I know it might sound bitter of me to say it. I wish they'd run a scheme for people looking to change career they can do in unpaid or annual leave time from their current employer. Surely they want people with some life experience too? Or is that too dangerous and like someone said above they want to mould them.

    1. Vic
      Pint

      happens to be my birthday as of half an hour ago

      Happy birthday!

      Vic.

      1. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Thanks Vic :-)

    2. TonyJ Silver badge

      "...happens to be my birthday as of half an hour ago..."

      Happy Birthday.

      1. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Cheers Tony.

  18. WatAWorld

    gossiping about sexts while perusing the nude selfies of teenage girls

    "While the private sector will often be able to offer a more financially lucrative career, GCHQ can compete on the value of our Mission."

    Plus, if it is anything like the NSA, there is the seemingly potential opportunity of gossiping about sexts while perusing the nude selfies of teenage girls.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: gossiping about sexts while perusing the nude selfies of teenage girls

      It would seem that GHCQ is already well-versed in this. There was an article here some time ago about them grabbing Yahoo chats and in particular the images. I'm sure they've expanded their horizons some. The Internet is a big place and selfies are everywhere.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £250 will buy a lot of Dropbox storage...

    Blackmail material, the gift that keeps on giving.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just sign on the dotted line...

    Would they be required to sign the Official Secrets Act?

  21. Bbbbit

    Wish I was younger

    I wish this option of paid training had been available for me when I was a lad. I would have jumped at the chance. Probably would have learned just enough to get myself arrested 12 months later but then again, I never was that bright.

  22. kev whelan

    Very amusing

    Thank you

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