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007's agency seeks security geeks

Bond's U.K. intelligence unit posts first in series of job ads for people with "interception qualifications."

MI6, the intelligence agency for overseas operations, is looking to recruit IT and technology experts to gather data and spy on computers in other countries.

A job ad appeared in Thursday's Times newspaper as part of the organization's latest public recruitment drive.

"It's about keeping up with what the other sides are doing and making it better so they can't break into our (systems)," a spokesman for MI6, otherwise known as the Secret Intelligence Service, told "This is the first in a series of ads that will appear."

MI6 said security professionals and people with "interception qualifications" are highly sought-after.

The organization is seeking people from a variety of backgrounds, including those with military experience, university degrees or work experience.

They are also looking for people who, beyond having the right qualifications, could become experts.

Software, network and communications workers will be required to carry out jobs such as "testing other people's security to see if you can break into it" and day-to-day running of IT.

Last October, M16 launched a Web site as part of its recruitment drive. The site attempts to dispel the myth around the glamour of spying, as portrayed in Ian Fleming's James Bond stories.

Dan Ilett of reported from London.