Military hack simulated in latest UK cyber challenge

Cyber Security Challenge UK has staged the latest semi-final in its competition to seek out the best young cyber talent in the country.

Cyber security

Run in conjunction with government communications agency HMGCC, the MoD and BAE Systems, the event saw 24 competitors battle a simulated military cyber threat. The fictitious hack involved terrorists gaining control of geo-tracking technology for soldiers through what’s known as a ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack. Contact with the soldiers was lost, and teams were required to respond to the situation.

“Cybercrime affects all organisations, whether that’s corporations, charities or even the military,” said Nigel Harrison, acting chief executive of Cyber Security Challenge UK.

“Our events represent the scenarios that cyber security experts in the field could experience on a day-to-day basis, and the types of attacks they could come up against. With a widening skills gap affecting organisations’ abilities to protect themselves, events like these provide the perfect opportunity for new talent to shine in front of prospective employers.”

Competitors had to report to military chiefs explaining why contact with the soldiers was lost, and advise on how to respond within international legal guidelines. According to the organisers, this tested their legal knowledge, while side tasks such as puzzles and ciphers hidden around the military site tested their cryptography and problem-solving skills.

The winning team of Challenger 2 featured Andy Grabowski, Caroline Haigh and Io Swift Wolf. Top performers from the event have been invited to the Masterclass grand final in November where they could be offered lucrative positions in the industry.The first event in the Cyber Security Challenge UK series took place in February of this year and involved a simulated attack on connected cars.

Cyber attack simulation unearths fresh talent

“Training, real-life experience and education are essential to develop future cyber security professionals,” said Cathy Sutherland, director, National Security, BAE Systems.

“Working on programmes such as this puts us at the heart of finding the best talent, helping organisations stay safe from digital threats.”