Cyber Security Challenge UK Unveils Second Set of Finalists

17 Jan 2011
QinetiQ Network Defence Competition Winners Announced Following Face to Face Showdown

The winners of the QinetiQ Network Defence Competition – one of the competitions launched by Cyber Security Challenge – have been announced following a series of challenges over the weekend where competing teams battled head to head for cyber security glory. Four semi-final teams locked horns with QinetiQ’s own cyber security professionals and secured their IT networks against a series of 'real life' live challenges posed by the company's team of penetration testers, network and security specialists.

Team Glitch – a team of upper sixth school pupils featuring Stuart Rennie, Lucy Robson and Yung-Yu Lau won Saturday’s category for small networks. Whilst team PEBKAC, a group of post graduates featuring Richard Hodgson, Alistair Senior and Tony Shannon won the medium networks category on Sunday.

Both teams will receive a prize from a pool of career building and education-focused options which include internships with Sophos, experience on the CREST penetration testing rig, and free Sans Institute and 7Safe training places.

The members of Team Glitch and Team PEBKAC also win a place in the Challenge final – The Masterclass – hosted in Bristol at HP Labs during March later this year. Here they will compete as individuals alongside winners from the other two Challenge feeder competitions for the chance to be crowned the UK’s Cyber Security Champion.

This weekend’s competition is the second of three that make up the 2010 Cyber Security Challenge UK. The third feeder competition, the Sophos and SANS Institute Treasure Hunt, reaches its finale on the 29th January at Sophos’s Labs in Abingdon where 25 individuals will compete against each other to also win places at The Masterclass in March.

The charge towards the 2011 Cyber Security Challenge UK has already begun. Registrations for the UK Category of the DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge set by the US Department for Defence are already open. Anyone interested in testing their mettle should visit www.dc3.mil/challenge/2011/

Winners’ quotes
“Many thanks to everyone who was involved in planning/executing the QinetiQ Network Defence Competition,” said Lucy from Team Glitch. “It has been a fantastic experience, immensely rewarding and great fun. I never expected to get this far, having entered purely to satisfy my curiosity. I will not hesitate to enter again next year.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed being tested in such a high speed, dynamic and intense environment,” said Richard from Team PEBKAC. “This was certainly a fantastic opportunity for anybody interested in computer security. An experience I would never have university.”

“This was an invaluable, practical application of the skill set I have gained to date,” added PEBKAC member Tony Shannon. “While it has highlighted areas for development, the challenge has also inspired me towards my future career in cyber security.”

Security Minister’s Quote
“I am delighted to see that Cyber Security Challenge is flourishing and has now reached the Face-to-Face phase,” said the Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones DCMG, Minister of State for Security and Counter-Terrorism. “The quality of contestants is impressive and I look forward to seeing the National finalists in early March when this year’s champion is crowned and the superb selection of career-enhancing prizes are awarded to the crop of newly discovered cyber security talent. Protecting our interests in cyberspace is vital for the economic well-being of the UK and for our National Security. To undertake this important work in the private and public sectors we need an expanded cadre of cyber security professionals. This initiative is a wonderful example of innovative and necessary collaboration between the Government and Industry to tackle the complex array of threats and risks that we all face daily in cyberspace. Finally I would like to take this opportunity the thank all of the sponsors of this year’s competitions for their ingenuity, hard work and financial support.”

QinetiQ Quote
“The level of capability displayed by our winners and finalists clearly demonstrates the hidden talent across the UK which we absolutely must continue to identify and nurture if UK industry is to remain at the forefront of cyber security” explains Alasdair Rodgers, MD Security from QinetiQ, which designed and delivered the Network Defence Competition. “To meet the UK’s current and future online security needs we must encourage those with the skills and desire to become cyber security professionals. The Challenge is a fantastic way to ensure that happens and that’s why we are supporting it.”

The Cyber Security Challenge UK
The Cyber Security Challenge UK is a series of online and face-to-face competitions designed by leading security, education and government organisations as a response to the worrying shortage of skilled professionals in the cyber security sector. It was launched by Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, the Security Minister at the end of July 2010 and three competitions were immediately opened for registration – the SANS and Sophos Treasure Hunt; the QinetiQ Network Defence competition; and the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) Digital Forensics Challenge.

To find out more about the Cyber Security Challenge or to test your skills against the public ciphers visit www.cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk.

For photos of the winners click here.
QinetiQ People Who Know How
Cyber Security Challenge UK Unveils Second Set of Finalists