The U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) challenges girls' schools to save the UK from cyber-attacks as it launches quest to find a new generation of female codebreakers. The CyberFirst Girls Competition is aimed at girls aged 12-13.

Published: 20:32 GMT, 6 January 2019 in The Daily Mail.


The U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has created a competition for 12- to 13-year-old girls, aimed at drawing more women into cybersecurity. The agency is asking schools across the U.K. to organize teams of up to four girls who will work with mentors to tackle codes, crosswords, and puzzles offering challenges in networking, logic and coding, cybersecurity, and cryptography. These teams will have a week to complete as many questions as possible, with participants confronted with more complex challenges as they progress; the top 10 teams will then vie for individual prizes, as well as £1,000 for school computer equipment. Said the National Cyber Security Center's Chris Ensor, "Taking part will help girls develop new skills, gain rare insight into the world of national security, and hopefully inspire tech-savvy girls to consider cybersecurity as a career." GCHQ also hopes the competition will encourage girls to improve their personal cybersecurity habits.

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