GCHQ releases a code-breaking app

GCHQ has released an Android app to inspire potential cyber-security wiz kids

The government communications-monitoring agency GCHQ has released its first app, and it's a game.

Cryptoy is designed to teach young students the art of code-breaking by introducing them to historic ciphers such as the famous Enigma code, cracked by Bletchley Park during World War II.

GCHQ hopes that the app, which can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play, will inspire the next generation of cyber security experts and was released to mark the third anniversary of the government's current cyber-security strategy.

The Cabinet recently released a report, which claimed that businesses of all sizes were still failing to grasp the importance of IT security.

“Although the overall number of breaches has gone down since 2013, the reported cost and severity of those breaches has increased significantly,” the report said. “For small organisations the worst breaches cost between £65,000 and £115,000 on average and for large organisations between £600,000 and £1.15 million.”

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), in conjunction with Innovate UK, has been offering £5,000 vouchers to SMEs to invest in improving their cyber-security.

GCHQ said that as well as a bit of fun, the app reflected a critical need to enthuse the next generation of cyber security professionals.

“All of this is extremely relevant to today’s world where information security is increasingly important and where we need young people to study the subjects necessary to equip them to become the next generation of cyber security experts,” said a GCHQ spokesperson.

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