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Cyber Security Challenge UK

Cyber Security Challenge’s latest virtual competition will see candidates testing their cyber security instincts and pre-empting potential cyber attacks against a fictional airport’s CCTV web application, by identifying fictional vulnerabilities and suggesting fixes. Developed by QinetiQ, the competition will provide candidates with a virtual machine image of the fictional web application which they can run on virtualisation software. The top 16 candidates will qualify for next year’s QinetiQ Secure Programming face–to-face competition.

Candidates will be judged on how many vulnerabilities they can identify and how accurately they are able to explain the weakness. For additional points, candidates can also give recommendations on how to fix the vulnerabilities. Candidates will be provided with a virtual machine image of the fictional web application which they can run on any popular virtualisation software.

To play, candidates must first register their interest on the Cyber Security Challenge website by Monday 28th October. The virtual competition itself will then open to play between Monday, November 4 and Friday, November 15.

The top 16 candidates from the virtual competition will qualify for the QinetiQ Secure Programming face–to-face Competition, on Saturday, February 22, 2014. Here, contestants will be placed into teams based upon skills identified by QinetiQ. Each team will identify, fix and exploit software vulnerabilities in a web application, documenting the weaknesses, presenting the findings and their solutions to a panel from QinetiQ.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK began in 2010 as three competitions run by supporters from industry, government and academia to address a skills gap in the cyber security sector. Now in its fourth year, the Challenge has grown its range of competitions to represent the variety of skills demanded within the profession and is backed by 75 sponsors from across government, industry and academia.

Christopher Clinton, Cyber Security Consultant at QinetiQ, said: “We’ve developed this competition to really challenge candidates’ abilities to spot system weaknesses before they can be exploited, and to identify possible solutions. By using the scenario of a fictional airport CCTV web application, we’re demonstrating to candidates the sheer scope of potential cyber attacks that security professionals must anticipate and defend against on a daily basis. It’s adding this level of detail that really helps to focus candidates on the task at hand and bring out the kind of skills we’re looking for in cyber defence.”

Notes to editors
Cyber Security Challenge UK runs a series of national inspirational competitions aimed at attracting talented people into the profession and informing them about cyber security careers and learning opportunities. Now in its third year it is running an ambitious programme of competitions and activities designed to spread the word about why cyber security is such a fulfilling and varied career and help talented people get their first cyber security jobs. It is sponsored by some of the UK’s most prestigious public, private and academic organisations and is making a notable difference to the career prospects of those with the talents and aptitude to become cyber security professionals.


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