An online code-cracking competition launched by British intelligence agency GCHQ.
Courtesy of GCHQ
An online code-cracking competition launched by British intelligence agency GCHQ. www.canyoucrackit.co.uk
msnbc.com
updated 12/1/2011 7:28:29 AM ET 2011-12-01T12:28:29

Britain has launched a code-cracking competition to recruit new spies, the BBC reported on Thursday.

The country's intelligence agency, GCHQ, has invited potential applicants to solve a visual code puzzle posted on an Internet site it has created especially for the hiring campaign.

GCHQ said that once the code was cracked individuals would be presented with a keyword to enter into a form field. They would then be redirected to the agency's recruitment website.

"The target audience for this particular campaign is one that may not typically be attracted to traditional advertising methods and may be unaware that GCHQ is recruiting for these kinds of roles," a spokesman told the BBC.

The organization said it was not worried that the problem's answer might be spread around the Internet.

The agency's website also states that applicants hoping to become the next James Bond must be British citizens.

GCHQ has used unusual recruitment methods in the past.

In 2009, it placed video content, themes and downloadable pictures on the Xbox Live network which appeared during Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed and other video games.

Two years earlier, it targeted gamers by placing digital posters in online titles including Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas and Splinter Cell Double Agent.

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