Mossad uses creative recruitment riddle to enlist cyber spies

The Israeli intelligence organization published a riddle made up of seemingly random lines of code in a variety of newspapers.

May 18, 2016 15:48
1 minute read.
Cyber hackers [illustrative]

Cyber hackers [illustrative]. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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On Israel's 68th Independence Day the Mossad announced a "help wanted" advertisement in a creative way.

Reminiscent of a technique employed by British Intelligence in WWII, the Israeli intelligence organization published a riddle made up of seemingly random lines of code in a variety of newspapers.

When solved, the code revealed the proposition: "Are you ready for a challenge?" Several further riddles eventually brought the candidates to the first challenge message which enlisted their help in a security simulation.

"Good morning Agent C!" the message reads. "One of your colleagues has been taken hostage by an unidentified group, and is being held in a previously unknown facility...The rescue team needs your help in opening this mechanism so they can enter and search the premises."

Information security researcher Yossi Dahan said of the Mossad's unique filtering process "in the event that the candidate successfully passes all of the stages of the challenge, then they can submit a resume."

"This is an excellent technique for the Mossad because it is a means of demonstrating the skill and ability of the participant to the interviewer," Dahan relayed.

Dahan additionally emphasized that the Mossad's challenge even attracted participants who were not necessarily interested in working for the intelligence organization.

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