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UK government unveils digital portal to unearth top security talent

The UK government has launched a Minecraft-style game that it hopes will inspire the next generation of IT security talent.

Unveiled by Cyber Security Challenge UK and backed by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the portal called Cyphinx hosts a series of cyber security-focused games, competitions, ciphers and recruitment opportunities, aimed at ages 12 to 25.

The gaming project also uses Minecraft to make players solve puzzles, such as finding codes and completing timed challenges.

Points accumulated are then used to rank a player on their effectiveness at solving the problems.

"As they work their way through the games, players' scores are entered on leader boards for cyber security-related disciplines such as risk analysis, forensic analysis, network defence and ethics, giving them the chance to prove and showcase their individual cyber skills and creating a digital CV in the process," said Cyber Security Challenge UK in a statement.

The portal is hosted by Skyscape Cloud Services and was developed in conjunction with the Serious Games Institute.

In addition, a number of organisations are backing the initiative, including the UK National Crime Agency, GCHQ, the Bank of England and the SANS Institute.

"Over the last six years we have made it our mission to find these individuals, using the best, most innovative methods. This is the next logical step to inspire an audience who may not yet even know that cyber is the career for them," Stephanie Daman, chief executive at Cyber Security Challenge UK said.