Those looking to crack open a career with the NSA need to ditch the CV and throw away the interview guidebook: all you need is a Twitter account.
The National Security Agency has announced it will be sending out tweets with career opportunities this month, the first already having been posted on Monday by @NSACareers. The catch? You need to speak fluent gibberish (or at least be adept at understanding code) to decipher it:
According to the Daily Dot, the tweet is a call to arms for budding security experts. By employing the services of code-breaking website Quipquip.com, the Daily Dot translated the message to mean: "Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each Monday in May as we explore careers essential to protecting your nation."
Indeed, if you look closely at the tweet it becomes clear that it's not a random collection of letters akin to those that appear when your forehead repeatedly mashes the keyboard ahead of an imposing deadline. Instead the code is a substitution cypher where each letter of the alphabet is swapped for another.
It's quite a simple code to crack: in this case, t was used for w in the encrypted tweet, p for a, f for n, and c for t. So for example the first four letters "tpfc" translates into "want."
An NSA spokeswoman then confirmed to the site that the tweets are indeed part of a recruitment drive by the agency.
"NSA is known as the code makers and code breakers," she wrote. The recruitment campaign aims to attract "the best and the brightest."
Looking closely at the tweet, one will find that certain letters, such as p, i and c, appear more frequently than others. This suggests that the code used a simple substitution cypher where each letter of the alphabet is swapped for another. In this case, t was used for w in the encrypted tweet, p for a, f for n, and c for t. The first four letters "tpfc" translates into "want."