Once upon a time the James Bonds of this world were recruited into the world of espionage through discreet old-boy networks, all very secretive and hush hush.
Not any more. Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency has launched an online code-breaking game in an attempt to attract the country's top graduates via the Internet.
The agency, which works with MI5 and MI6 has invited applicants to demonstrate their code-breaking capacity by deciphering a series of letters and numbers.
The initiative is part of a drive to help shore up the country against potential cyber attacks in the future.
Successful code-breakers will not only win the Internet game, but they could also land a job.
We hope that the code-breaking challenge will help increase awareness of GCHQ's mission and the important role it plays in safeguarding the nation, an agency spokesman said.
We hope to reach out to a broader audience, who may not be attracted to traditional advertising methods, he added.
The game at canyoucrackit.co.uk was launched last month and carries on until December 12.
Breaking the code, however, does not guarantee a job. A successful code-breaker will be put through to the GCHQ website and invited to apply for a post.
So far more than 50 people have successfully cracked the code, a spokesman said, 80 percent of whom have made an application through the agency's website.
We have had nearly 8,000 unique visitors (448 per day) to the canyoucrackit site since its launch, the spokesman said.
GCHQ is part of Britain's national intelligence network and employs around 5,500 people.
(Editing by Paul Casciato)