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Interior Minister seeks keen hackers

With the new Central Office for Information in the Security Sphere (ZITiS), the German government aims to curb cybercrime. But it’s currently lacking qualified staff.

26 Sep. 2017
Source: ZITiS - Zentrale Stelle für Informationstechnik im Sicherheitsbereich
(Screenshot: ZITiS - Zentrale Stelle für Informationstechnik im Sicherheitsbereich)

On its Website, ZITiS calls itself "the start-up agency", while the tabloid media has been quick to nickname it "the hacker agency". The central office, opened in Munich in September by German Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, aims to drive the development of new technical tools in the fight against crime for all security agencies. Its fields of activity include cryptanalysis, big data analysis, digital forensics, and telecommunications surveillance. ZITiS has been conceived as a pure R&D agency, with no new powers and no powers transferred from any other agencies.

According to de Maizière, the main job at hand is to "put everything into ZITiS’ continued expansion". And not without good cause: Only 17 of the 120 posts available have to date been filled, reports German broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk . It would seem many hackers are wary of the government’s job offer. "We’re looking for Q, not 007", is what’s written on the agency’s career page.