It is a very scary time to be a piece of sensitive data. If rogue hackers don’t find you, then perhaps the hackers at the NSA will. As we head toward a future in which required coding classes for high-schoolers is a possibility, it remains infinitely better to be one of those tasked with finding such pieces of data. Those with a genius for numbers and finding patterns are in high demand by the government--who would apparently rather give them jobs than risk losing them to the dark side, if such a side can even be determined at this point.
Recently, The Daily Mail teamed up with the Cyber Security Challenge and Blackberry to create a code-breaking challenge for aspiring master-hackers. This challenge involves finding hidden codes in four separate images in what may end up being a job interview. The results will also be seen by organizations such as British intelligence agency GCHQ and Sophos, who are looking for a few good decryptors.
Users must save each of the four images to their desktops, and then manipulate them in various ways, with the goal of uncovering a hidden numerical or alphabetical code inside. Some of these images might require altering color and contrast to reveal the code; others, photo-editing software tricks.
Although the hidden codes will be revealed by the Cyber Security Challenge soon, have a look through the images above and see how you fare.
[Image: Flickr user Kangrex]