CNOS Computer Network Operations Specialist Ref. 179

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GCHQ  are world class experts in understanding computer networks. We use this knowledge both to protect the UK’s sensitive information and to provide valuable intelligence, including carrying out computer network operations against terrorists, criminals and others posing a serious threat to the UK. Strict legal controls, safeguards and requirements apply to GCHQ’s activities, which can only be carried out for the statutory purposes and in support of the national security priorities that are set by ministers.

At GCHQ, Computer Network Operations Specialists work in both cyber security and cyber intelligence roles.  We are looking for committed and responsible individuals who have the potential to carry out operations to keep the UK safe.  In cyber security roles, our operations specialists may find themselves working in a team detecting and preventing attempts to attack the critical national infrastructure, or seeking to defend government systems against criminals seeking to steal information, identities or money.  Cyber intelligence specialists might need to develop software to access the computers of a terrorist group, or carry out operations to retrieve vital online clues about the location and identity of members of an organised crime ring.

We ensure that our specialists receive the training necessary to develop the right skills for the job.  We attract 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 staff need to continue learning and developing throughout a career in computer network operations.


Our work is unique and it makes a difference to the UK.  We need people with the following skills to join our team

Standard CNOS graduate entry criteria:

a)    Have or expect to obtain by September 2016 a 2:1 or above in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or a related discipline; or a Bachelors’ or Masters’ degree incorporating ethical hacking, digital forensics or information security.
b)    Ability to undertake complex coding tasks and evidence of having done so beyond the basic requirements of a university course.
c)    Excellent problem-solving skills.

Alternative CNOS entry criteria:

a)    Thorough understanding of internet communications protocols, including knowledge of how these protocols are commonly secured.
b)    Understanding of operating systems and their programming interfaces.
c)    Ability to undertake complex coding tasks and evidence of having done so either professionally or as a hobby.
d)    Excellent problem-solving skills.


Cyber defence and cyber intelligence roles offer similar long-term career development opportunities, and there is some opportunity to transfer between streams after training.

At Interview, we will discuss any preference you have for cyber security or cyber intelligence roles.

Selection Process

As part of this campaign you will be required to undergo:

Minimum Eligibility Sift – Preference Sift – Interview

Dates to Remember

Closing date for applications is Monday 8th June 2015

Interviews: 8th July – 22nd July 2015

The Reward Package

The starting salary for this position is £27,913

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.