Spies R Us - GCHQ trains next gen hackers

A GCHQ-backed scheme to train young people to become cyber-security experts is to be delivered by Royal Holloway, University of London and education charity The Smallpeice Trust, bringing together Year 9 students from across the UK to learn and be challenged by some of the UK's top cyber-security experts.

The three-day course takes place at Royal Holloway from 11 to 13 April and will explore the latest security technologies through what are described as interesting laboratory exercises and lectures with experts from Royal Holloway, GCHQ and Smallpeice's own education team. The intake of young people will attend a software workshop, where they will be given a series of increasingly difficult codes that they need to crack.

Dr Kevin Stenson, chief executive of The Smallpeice Trust, issued a statement saying: “It may be a case of poacher turned gamekeeper, but it stands to reason that if you're going to learn how to deal with cyber-attacks effectively you need to understand exactly how they work. Our partners at GCHQ believe that in order to stop hackers they need to understand how they operate, so we're happy to follow the experts and encourage and enable our course attendees to be inspired.

“Courses like this are all about thinking big, exploring further and imagining more, and it really doesn't get bigger than having Britain's cyber-security forces supporting a residential course at one of London's most prestigious universities. Of course, Smallpeice's own team will also be on hand to help further capture the imagination.”

The Smallpeice Trust has also launched its 2016 STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) courses for young people aged 12-17, which it describes as hands-on courses, in areas as diverse as Nuclear Marine Engineering and Supercomputing, that challenge young people to imagine the engineering feats of the future.