The new boss of Australia's domestic spy agency started his high tech espionage career by answering an ad in a newspaper.
Mike Burgess has spent 24 years at the forefront of information technology security and will now lead the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation as director-general.
He will switch over from the Australian Signals Directorate, which monitors communications and hacking overseas, to take on ASIO's role of tracking threats at home.
Mr Burgess started his spying career with the old Defence Signals Directorate in 1995.
"I spotted a weird, geeky-sounding advert in the newspaper, back in the days when we had newspapers," he told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday.
"It was short on details on who was recruiting but being a curious guy I thought I'd give it a go.
"When I rang the number listed, all I got was a 'hello'. I responded with my 'hello', and after a short pause, all I got was a 'hello' back.
"That was my introduction to the world of intelligence and security."
After a series of roles with DSD, including five years as deputy director for cyber and information security, Mr Burgess moved to become Telstra's chief information security officer in 2013.
At Telstra he championed cyber security for businesses, and wrote articles about data security and avoiding scams for consumers.
He left Telstra in November 2016 and a year later was appointed head of the rebranded Australian Signals Directorate.
Under his leadership, the ASD made an effort to open up about its role to the public, as cyber security and warfare became a more significant part of Australians' lives.
"Long time listener, first time caller", the ASD twitter account tweeted out in October 2018, as the agency began efforts to engage with Australians.
"It is important the Australian public understand why changes are necessary. That would be difficult to do if ASD were to continue to be highly secretive about the nature of its role," Mr Burgess said in a speech on the same day.
Mr Burgess has also been a member of the federal government's naval shipbuilding advisory board.
He will take over as director-general of ASIO on September 15.
Australian Associated Press