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Solve the code - become a spy

The British Secret Service wants you (via Facebook)

Solve the code - become a spy

Chances are James Bond's not on Facebook. And anyway, we'd like to think he was recruited on a windswept bridge over the Thames, by a man with a squint, smoking a cigar.

Times have changed, though, and the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) Britain's code-cracking spooks have launched an online competition in a bid to seek out the next generation of geek spy.

The viral campaign that's taking off on Facebook and Twitter redirects users to a website called “Can you crack it?”

Players are presented with a grid of 160 pairs of letters and numbers (image 1) , and a countdown clock. They must unscramble the numbers and correctly identify a secret word.

Those who succeed will be automatically redirected to the GCHQ website's recruitment page and invited to apply for a job. They could then be fast-tracked to a career in the secret service.

A GCHQ spokesman said: 'Code cracking skills are vital to secure the very best talent and to support the GCHQ mission in its fight against cyber threats,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.

'Their skills may be ideally suited to our work and yet they may not understand how they could apply them to a working environment, particularly one where they have the opportunity to contribute so much.'

GCHQ is based in Cheltenham in their iconic building nicknamed 'the donut' (image 2).

Images: Can You Crack It? / Rex