Careers & Internships


Cyber Security Researcher

There are currently no openings for this position.
Please check back periodically as our hiring needs change.

There are currently no openings for this position.
Please check back periodically as our hiring needs change.

At a Glance

  • Full time

  • Washington, DC metro area

  • Starting salary: $63,503 - $112,240

  • US citizenship required (dual national US citizens are eligible)

This position was formerly known as Software Engineer

As a Cyber Security Researcher for the CIA, you will focus in the cyber arena and specialize in the design, development, integration, and deployment of cutting edge tools, techniques, and systems to support cyber operations and other intelligence activities. Leveraging advanced knowledge and tradecraft with regards to computer and network security, Cyber Security Researchers produce creative, innovative, and elegant solutions to some of the toughest challenges. You will utilize your technical skills, imagination, ingenuity, initiative, and expertise to help develop, support, and execute the Agency's intelligence mission in partnership with our Cyber Operations Officer cadre.

Most positions are located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, but opportunities to serve and travel overseas exist as your career and abilities develop.

Offices of the CIA – Directorate of Digital Innovation

The Directorate of Digital Innovation (DDI) is at the forefront of defining the future of digital expertise within the CIA. DDI focuses on developing the workforce with cutting-edge skills, investing in IT infrastructure, and modernizing the way the Agency does business. DDI officers help accelerate the integration of innovative methods and tools to enhance the CIA's cyber and digital capabilities on a global scale and ultimately help safeguard our nation. Learn more about the Directorate of Digital Innovation.

See our work in action:

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Life at CIA

In addition to a comprehensive benefits package, the CIA offers exciting career opportunities and a dynamic environment. We're on the forefront of world-altering events – as they happen. So working here isn't just a job, it's a mindset and a lifestyle.

US citizenship required (dual-national US citizens eligible). All positions require relocation to the Washington, DC metro area.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in one of the following fields or related studies:
    • Computer engineering
    • Computer science
    • Electrical engineering
    • Software engineering
    • Or, five (5) years of hands on professional experience in one of the following fields (Offensive security, System level software development)
  • GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale
  • 3 years of experience with a system programming language (preferably C or C++)
  • Knowledge of:
    • Operating system concepts (UNIX/Linux, Windows, iOS, or Android) such as Security models, File systems, Process management and isolation, Inter-process communication, Networking, Cryptography
  • Computer science fundamentals and software development best practices
  • Basic Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) and Computer Network Attack (CNA) techniques and terminology
  • Ability to design, develop, debug, and maintain a diverse portfolio of programs written in C/C++, using modern software development tools and methodologies
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment with competing and ever shifting priorities
  • Ability to identify and manage risk
  • Ability to demonstrated technical leadership
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, especially the ability to articulate technical requirements to a non-technical audience
  • Passionate about security
Desired Qualifications:
  • Master’s or Doctorate degree in one of the following fields:
    • Computer engineering
    • Computer science
    • Software engineering
    • Cyber security
    • Information security
  • Proficiency with a scripting language such as Python, Bash, Ruby, or Powershell; the ability to do the following with a scripting language:
    • Automate tasks
    • Parse and interpret log output from operating systems, network devices, and infrastructure services
  • Experience with kernel level programming
  • Familiarity with assembly for one or more architectures (ARM, MIPS, x86/x64)
  • Familiarity with reverse engineering and/or exploitation
    • Experience in vulnerability analysis of source code or assembly
    • Knowledge of exploitation techniques
    • Familiarity of exploitation mitigation techniques
    • Experience with Ghidra, IDA Pro, Binary Ninja, or a similar suite of tools
    • Knowledge of industry threat models such as MITRE’s ATT&CK or Lockheed Martin’s Cyber Kill Chain
  • Knowledge of common reconnaissance, exploitation, and post-exploitation frameworks
  • Knowledge of networking fundamentals at all OSI layers
  • Experience in red teaming or pen-testing
  • Any of the following certifications:
    • Certified Ethical Hacker
    • Certified Penetration Tester
    • OSCE
    • GXPN
    • GWAPT
    • eWPTX
    • ECPTX
All applicants must successfully complete:
  • A thorough medical and psychological exam
  • A polygraph interview
  • A comprehensive background investigation

To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last 12 months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to 12 months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing.

If you are ready to apply, add this position to your job cart. You can add up to four (4) positions. Job cart selections will only be retained during this site visit, so be sure to click "Apply Now" before closing the browser window. After clicking "Apply Now" you will be taken to the application account creation page. The positions will appear in the cart once you have created an account.

DO NOT submit multiple applications; this will only slow the review of your application and delay processing. Please read the Application Instructions carefully before you begin the online application process.

Important application instructions for this position:

The following items must be attached to your on-line application (PDF format preferred):

  • Resume
  • Cover letter in which you specify your qualifications for one or more positions. Please address why you want to work in this role and what differentiates you from other applicants.
  • Unofficial transcripts for all degrees

Important Notice: Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are seeking employment with the CIA. Their interest, however, may not be benign or in your best interest. Once you reveal your interest you lose control of that information. We ask all applicants to exercise discretion and good judgment in disclosing your interest in a position with the CIA. You will receive further guidance on this topic as you proceed through your CIA employment processing.

watch video Watch the Application Process videos on a separate page.

An equal opportunity employer and a drug-free workforce.

Posted: Sep 17, 2020 09:27 AM
Last Updated: Sep 28, 2020 12:13 PM

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