Simple Google search unlocks GCHQ code-cracking competition

Simple Google search unlocks GCHQ code-cracking competition

GCHQ logo with cracksGCHQ’s “Can You Crack It?” website, designed to help recruit talented codebreakers for the British government department, is getting lots of attention from the media and bloggers – but some of that may be unwanted.

A number of bloggers and Twitter users have pointed out that GCHQ appears to have done rather a poor job at locking down the website, making it child’s play for anyone to visit the webpage you’re only supposed to see if you’ve successfully cracked the code.

GCHQ code-cracking success page

All it takes to find the page is to use the site: command in Google, as the “Can You Crack It?” webmaster seemingly didn’t hide the success page from search engines.

Can You Crack It search results on Google


Of course, none of this means that the code-cracking competition isn’t still worth participating in. It was perhaps inevitable – once GCHQ’s involvement in the challenge was known – that some would ferret around for chinks in the website’s armour.