Cryptanalyst | Crypto-Scientist

Reference number: 3521-CSE(OC)2020
Closing Date: 2022-03-31  

About the Job

Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is Canada's national cryptologic agency. Unique within Canada's security and intelligence community, CSE employs code-makers, codebreakers, and secure system creators to provide the Government of Canada with information technology security (Cyber Security) and foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT) services. CSE is the national hub for cyber operations to defend Canada and advance national interests, and provides technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies.

We are currently looking for Cryptanalysts and Crypto-Scientists to work in a dynamic and innovative operational environment. As a Cryptanalysts/Crypto-Scientist at CSE, you will be part of a team applying your analytical and problem-solving skills to a variety of problems in support of the SIGINT and Cyber missions. This means you could be working to defeat encryption or working to design and evaluate cryptographic algorithms and protocols. You will learn and apply advanced cryptanalytic techniques and contribute to the development of innovative tools, new techniques, and recommendations for a wide variety of clients both within CSE and from other organizations.

Cryptanalysts and Crypto-Scientists at CSE perform one or more of the following functions:

  • Operations, developing and maintaining decryption capabilities and using them to support Government of Canada Intelligence and Cyber Defense requirements.
  • Cryptologic research, design, develop, assess, and attack cryptographic algorithms and protocols.

We are looking for passionate people from a variety of backgrounds who:

  • have a blend of math and software development skills;
  • have knowledge of and an interest in learning more about cryptography and cryptographic protocols;
  • enjoy reading deep technical documents, like standards and protocol specifications or mathematics papers;
  • are creative and critical thinker who love solving problems;
  • are self-motivated, tenacious and do not give up on a problem at the first sign of adversity;
  • are team players and want to be a part of a great team that delivers results for the Government of Canada and Canadians.


  • UNMA-07 level:  $91,585 - $106,240 per year
  • UNMA-08 level:  $99,861 - $115,504 per year
  • UNMA-09 level:  $107,432 - $124,208 per year


All jobs are in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information on location, please visit the following link: These locations meet current accessibility standards.

Language Requirements

English Essential

Required Qualifications

You must clearly demonstrate in your application how you meet these required qualifications:


You must have either one of the following:

  • A University degree in a field related to the position, such as (but not limited to): Computer Science, Engineering (e.g. Computer, Software, Electrical) with a strong math background, Mathematics with programming courses
  • An acceptable combination of education (i.e. college diploma, professional certification) in a field related to the position (as above) and relevant experience.

The educational program must be recognized in Canada and you must be able to provide proof of education credentials. Students graduating within the next twelve (12) months are eligible to apply.


  • Recent* experience developing software using a language such as C, C++, Java, Perl, or Python.
  • Recent* experience applying analytical skills on difficult problems.
  • Recent* experience communicating the results of your work to various stakeholders (e.g. peers, supervisors).
  • Knowledge in one or more of the following: algebra, discrete math, computational number theory, probability and statistics, combinatorics, or cryptography.

*For the purposes of this selection process “Recent” is defined as experience having normally been acquired within the last five (5) years.


? Competencies is our term for skills and/or knowledge. These required competencies are the skills/knowledge we need to see in your application, interviews, etc., for you to be successful.

Technical competencies

  1. Advanced Knowledge of Mathematics

Knowing, developing, and applying mathematical theories, principles, concepts, techniques, and tools

  1. Knowledge of Cryptanalysis

Developing and applying cryptanalytic theories, principles, and concepts to solve problems.

  1. Application Development

Knowledge and ability to design, define, construct, enhance, support, and maintain application software on one or more platforms.

  1. In addition, UNI 08 candidates must successfully demonstrate one (1) technical asset competency and UNI 09 candidates must successfully demonstrate two (2) technical asset competencies. Technical asset competencies are found under “Asset Qualifications”.

Behavioural competencies

  1. Interactive Communication

Communicating in a compelling, honest, persuasive, effective, and articulate manner, thinking about who you need to communicate with, ensuring the message is clear, understood & consistent with CSE objectives.

  1. Cognitive Thinking Skills

Responding to challenges with innovative solutions, products, or services by questioning conventional means, using intuition, experimentation & fresh perspectives; understanding, analyzing, synthesizing and relating complex information and abstract variables.

  1. Service

Identifies & responds to current & future client needs; provides service that meets or exceeds clients’ expectations.

  1. Working in a Team

Demonstrating effective interpersonal skills & working cooperatively and effectively within & across organizational units to achieve common goals.

Leadership competencies

  1. Achieving Results

Deliver on commitments through actions that reflect personal accountability, sound judgement, decisiveness & business acumen.

  1. Collaboration

Build relationships with traditional & non-traditional partners & stakeholders to develop solutions that reflect the interests of the organization.

  1. Integrity, Respect & Awareness

Create & promote a culture of integrity, transparency, fairness & respect. Recognize one’s own areas of personal & professional strength as well as areas for development & is committed to continuous learning to enhance self-awareness.


Who is eligible:

You must be a Canadian citizen, eligible for Top Secret security clearance, and be prepared to comply with CSE security policies and standards.

Security Requirements:

You must not have a criminal record. The selection process includes a security interview, polygraph exam, psychological assessment, and a ten-year background investigation, including a credit check and financial check.

Asset Qualifications

? Assets are “nice-to-have” expertise and competencies we are interested in. It is good if you have them, but please don’t let it stop you from applying if you think you don’t.

You should clearly demonstrate in your application any specialized expertise that apply to you, as it will be used to determine best addition within CSE.


  • Graduate Degrees (Master’s or PhD) in Mathematics or Computer Science

Specialized Expertise

  • Experience with mathematical programming, including use of C, C++ or Python with software packages such as Sage, Maple, Mathematica
  • Experience with network protocols, and protocol analysis tools such as Wireshark
  • Demonstrated interest in cyber security;
  • Experience in Software Reverse Engineering;
  • Demonstrated interest in post quantum cryptography and or quantum information theory;


Candidates may be assessed on one or more of the following asset competencies:

Technical competencies

  1. Knowledge of Parallel Programming

Understands and applies general concepts linked to parallel programming.

  1. Research

Understanding what information is needed, how to locate and collect the data from appropriate sources and analyze it to make recommendations and prepare policies.

  1. Network Analysis

Applying understanding of networks to identify, develop and implement network exploitation solutions.

  1. Signals / Protocol Analysis

Applying understanding of electronics and telecommunications systems to identify and resolve problematic signals and protocols from analog and digital data.

Application Process

How to Apply

You may submit your candidacy online by clicking “APPLY” at the bottom of this page.

If you cannot apply online or have a disability preventing you from applying online, please inform us by contacting prior to the closing date.

CSE is committed to the principle of equity in employment. We are committed to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of Canadians and to creating an open and inclusive workplace. We encourage you to voluntarily indicate if you are part of one of the groups targeted by employment equity: women, Indigenous people, people with disabilities (including people with learning disabilities, development or any other type of disability) and members of visible minorities.

What to Expect

  1. A written test will be administered to candidates who successfully pass the application review. It will be used as a screening tool. Make sure to check your spam/junk mailbox regularly for notification of the test.
  2. Interview(s) will follow for candidates who are successful on the written test. You can request that the process be conducted in the official language of your choice. CSE offers an assessment process which will accommodate any measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Those measures are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially. If you may need such accommodation, please advise us.
  3. References will only be contacted for candidates who have successfully completed the interview(s).
  4. Candidates will be required to complete the security process as part of the global assessment, which involves a security interview, a polygraph test, a psychological assessment, and a background investigation covering a minimum of your last 10 years history, including credit and financial verifications. Information regarding this process can be found on CSE's website.

The entire selection process – tests, interviews, security investigation – may take more than one year to complete.

If you are deemed to be unsuccessful in the assessment process for this particular selection process, you may reapply in twelve (12) months.

Additional Details

The level of competence demonstrated in the various assessments will be used to determine your qualifications for the UNMA-07, UNMA-08, or UNMA-09 level.

Candidates who do not meet all essential qualifications and competencies may be considered for an underfill. In which case, an individual development plan will be established for the successful candidate, depending on qualifications and experience of the employee.


Determinate and indeterminate appointments will be used to staff positions of permanent or temporary tenures within CSE.  All appointments have a one (1) year probation period.

CSE Employment

CSE is a separate organization and is not subject to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). The organization has its own values-based staffing regime and as such, has the flexibility to determine qualifications for positions and how these qualifications will be assessed in a selection process. In other words, CSE has its own classification, compensation system, and a different staffing regime. As such, we use a different staffing process and terminology.

Training and Development

At CSE, we are proud to offer an inclusive and supportive working environment that encourages open minds and attitudes. As an organization that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfill your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we will enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the best of your abilities.

Covid-19 Update

In our ongoing efforts to keep our workplace and communities healthy, CSE continues to closely follow guidance from provincial and federal public health authorities (Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Public Service and Procurement Canada). While some work has started to resume from the workplace, many of our employees continue to work from home during these unprecedented times.


All employees of the core public administration are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and attest to their vaccination status unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground for discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

We thank all candidates for their interest in CSE. However, only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.