Minecraft aids search for cybersecurity talent

The Cyphinx virtual skyscraper Image copyright Cyber Security Challenge
Image caption The virtual building will act as a community hub and a recruiting tool

Minecraft is being used to find and recruit people who have the talent to work in the computer security industry.

A virtual skyscraper has been created that will host the game and many other competitions and cipher-based challenges.

The Cyphinx skyscraper will act as a portal for those keen to find out more about a career in the field.

It will complement the Cyber Security Challenge, which recruits people via games and face-to-face events.

"Amidst the chronic shortage of cyber-professionals, there is a wealth of talent which is still untapped," said Stephanie Daman, head of the Cyber Security Challenge, in a statement.

"This is the next logical step to inspire an audience who may not yet even know that cyber is the career for them," she said.

The virtual tower would act as a community hub, said Ms Daman, which would let people interested in a career meet others and see how they do when tackling the types of problems professionals regularly confronted in their day-to-day work.

Each floor in the building will host different challenges, competitions and games. The subjects covered include forensic work, network defence, ethics and risk analysis.

To enter and play, users must register and create an avatar that they can then pilot around the different areas, sampling the challenges. The tower has been built using the Unity game engine and has links on different floors to the competitions and games.

Those signing up can chat to experienced professionals who can help guide them through tougher challenges or give hints to help them solve the puzzles.

Dr Guy Bunker, from security firm Clearswift, said Cyphinx would also act as an introduction to the world of computer security.

"Historically we've seen a shortfall of interest in cybersecurity due to a lack of understanding of the job," he said.

"This new world allows the industry to inspire young people to enter the field, showing them how to become valuable players in a game that's ever-changing."

Once established, it is hoped that the the Cyphinx hub will also become a recruiting tool for security firms, analysts and companies.

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