GCHQ has launched its first open recruitment drive for "computer network operations specialists", marking the department's latest attempt to overcome the security skills shortage.
The plan was announced on Tuesday and will see GCHQ identify and recruit "skilled professionals" for operations focused on detecting and preventing attacks on critical national infrastructure and government systems as well as fighting cybercrime.
The jobs will carry starting salaries of just under £28,000 and are open to graduates and non-graduates aged 18 or over.
Successful candidates will have to pass security clearances before being placed at GCHQ's Cheltenham or Scarborough facilities.
The job specification said that the workers "may" be tasked with creating custom attack tools capable of infiltrating the networks of terrorist groups or organised criminal cartels.
A GCHQ spokesperson explained that the department is seeking out "raw talent" in the field and will offer tailored training to successful candidates.
"Our work is unique and it makes a difference to the UK. Our current campaign to recruit computer network operations specialists means that new entrants get to fully play their part," he said.
"We are looking for people with a diverse range of backgrounds and experience, so training is tailored to meet the needs of the individual and the role.
"The need to keep up with changing technology means that those we recruit will continue learning and developing throughout a career in computer network operations."
The news follows widespread reports of a cyber skills gap. Several government departments and businesses have reported difficulties recruiting skilled security professionals in recent years.
FireEye CIO Julie Cullivan listed overcoming the skills gap as one of the biggest challenges facing industry during an interview with V3.
The UK government has launched several initiatives designed to help plug the gap, including the annual cyber security challenge and the Cyber First recruitment drive.
Cyber First is a pilot sponsorship scheme designed to identify, recruit and train people with the necessary skills for cyber security roles, using initiatives such as the Cyber Security Challenge Schools Programme and national maths competitions.
The opening Cyber First drive aims to train 20 individuals.
The announcement follows reports claiming that the UK is already part of an ongoing cyber arms race between nations.
The US Department of Defence reported uncovering evidence that China's People's Liberation Army is developing dangerous cyber attack tools that could knock a nation's infrastructure offline.
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