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First day of Northern Exposure, GCHQ’s Scarborough Cyber Summer School

News article - 13 Jul 2015
The doors open today for Northern Exposure, GCHQ’s cyber summer school based in Scarborough.

Thirty two participants will take part in the six-week programme which includes learning about the structure of the Internet, information assurance, programming languages, malware and the cyber threat landscape.

Northern Exposure marks a novel approach to recruitment for GCHQ, centred upon attitude and aptitude more than technical experience.

Organisers were looking to attract people from a wide range of backgrounds, including those without qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, who might not have normally considered applying to an organisation like GCHQ.
Glowing laptop representing a cyber theme 

Who we are

GCHQ is an intelligence and security organisation, working to keep Britain safe and secure in the challenging environment of modern communications.


What we do

UK citizens today conduct much of their lives over the internet, as do the Government, the Armed Services, Law Enforcement and industry.

For the UK to be safe and successful, the cyber connections and infrastructure we use need to be safe and secure. GCHQ plays a major role in making that a reality using our expertise and experience.

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How we work

GCHQ strives to ensure that life in the UK isn't compromised through cyber attack or on-line serious crime, employing some of the world's leading experts on Information Security.

Everything we do is governed by law, and overseen by the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers.


Latest news


GCHQ was pleased to support the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on 17-19 July 2015.
06 Jul 2015 - Cheltenham Cyber Summer School begins
Ten-week project welcomes students for a cyber security-focused programme.

29 Jun 2015
- Minister for the Cabinet Office visits GCHQ
Minister for the Cabinet Office (MCO) with responsibility for the UK Cyber Security Strategy, Matthew Hancock, visited GCHQ today.
GCHQ today announced that it has certified a further six Master’s degrees in Cyber Security from universities across the country to support cyber security education in the UK.
The Foreign Secretary today highlights the important work of the Cheltenham based Centre for Cyber Assessment.
Sir Mark Waller’s 2014 report was presented to Parliament today.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal has issued its third and final judgment on challenges raised by Liberty, Privacy International and others, to the lawfulness of the UK’s bulk interception powers and of the intelligence-sharing arrangements between the UK and the US National Security Agency.
11 Jun 2015 - Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation publishes his report into the laws governing investigatory powers
David Anderson QC publishes his report "A Question of Trust" which looks at the effectiveness of existing legislation relating to investigatory powers, and examines the case for a new or amended law.
Our Counter Terrorism and Serious Crime staff talk about what it's like to work on some of our most difficult challenges.
Current and former students and apprentices from GCHQ demonstrate innovative science and technology games.

Press Releases

After success in the UK public sector and industry the CESG Certified Professional scheme will now be available to cyber security professionals as a pilot in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the US.
GCHQ has today launched a new series of placement schemes that will see technology students working alongside world-class technical experts inside the Cheltenham based intelligence and security agency’s iconic ‘Doughnut’ building.
The new scheme, launched by the Information Security Arm of GCHQ, provides government and industry with expert advice to meet their cyber security needs.
Cyber First logo

CyberFirst - GCHQ Student Sponsorship Opportunity

News article - 25 Jun 2015
CyberFirst is a government-backed initiative to identify young people considering a future career in Cyber Security. We are looking for UK national competition winners, under 25 years old, who are planning to study or are already studying an undergraduate degree in a STEM subject at a UK university.

How does an analyst catch a terrorist?

Without the aid of dark glasses and trench coat, GCHQ works every day to keep the UK safe. One of GCHQ's most important tasks is to identify and analyse the international dimensions of terrorist threats to the UK. Every operation will be different.
For an example of how a potential threat might be identified, what a GCHQ intelligence analyst will do to learn more about it, and what that analyst will do with the information uncovered in the process.

Our journey

History and the Cryptoy app

Cryptoy is a fun, free, educational app about cryptography, designed by GCHQ for use by secondary school students and their teachers.
The app enables users to understand basic encryption techniques, learn about their history and then have a go at creating their own encoded messages. These can then be shared with friends via social media or more traditional means and the recipients can use the app to try to decipher the messages.
Director GCHQ, Robert Hannigan

Director GCHQ writes an opinion piece for the Financial Times

News article - 04 Nov 2014
In his first public statement, the new Director GCHQ Robert Hannigan discusses terrorist use of the Internet and how the security and intelligence agencies need greater support from technology companies to tackle this challenge.

Want to know more about GCHQ's work to protect the UK?

News article - 09 Jun 2015
Our Counter Terrorism and Serious Crime teams tackle some of the most difficult challenges facing the UK.
To show the work that we do in these areas, we have published accounts from our analysts and linguists talking about their jobs.