The recently launched GCHQ code breaking exercise has been solved by approximately 50 whizz-kids all competing for information security jobs with the government agency .
However it would seem all that effort to crack the code led many to only disappointment as applicants found that the salary attached to their cyber security jobs was a mere £25,000 and the solution to the code could be found by simply searching on Google.
One of the young would-be spies successfully solved the code and told journalists that he had worked for GCHQ in the past but left when he discovered his salary expectations at least doubled in many information risk jobs in the private sector.
The 23 year old wished to remain anonymous in true secret service style and went on to say that he believed that the GCHQ would find retaining staff a huge problem if it failed to match the salaries on offer by private businesses. He continued:
“There is an incredibly high turnover at GCHQ and that is simply down to pay. Those who can do that challenge could easily earn up to £80,000 a year in the private sector. It’s disappointing that as a society, we are not willing to acknowledge those skills by spending more money.”
The GCHQ director, Iain Lobban, has confessed that although he can promise his employees a ‘fantastic mission’ often hanging onto his top performing staff is a challenge. He has called upon the Intelligence and Security Committee to make changes but for now those looking for an exciting job managing risk and network threat for the nation will have to accept lower pay than their private sector counterparts.