The third New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge was held last week at the University of Waikato. The event included 133 secondary school participants, 78 tertiary and 56 that took part in the industry/open category.
Team Hodor from the Gallagher Group was the overall winner. Team Hodor consisted of Sjoerd de Feijter, Matthew Stringer and Vladimir Petko Sjoerd de Feijter. Their win marks the first awarding of the Sir William Gallagher Cyber Security Scholarship.
Runner-up was 17-year-old solo entrant Michael Robertson from Cambridge High School competing in the secondary school category. Michael also won scholarships to the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Waikato. A team from Tararua College (PHT Hackers - Caleb Fincham, Ben Fleming and Joshua Gibbs) from the Manawatu-Wanganui region came second in the same category.
Second runner-up was Arcton (Jeremy Symon, Nathaniel Watson and Grady Hooker) from the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, competing in the tertiary category.
The organiser of the event, Dr Ryan Ko, says the goal of the challenge is to focus on developing cyber security skills needed by professionals and to promote innovations in the cyber field.
“Ethics play an important role in our daily job as cyber security professionals,” Ko says, “The goal of this Challenge is to reach a high level of education and research – contrasting the dark-culture cyber security competitions that over-glorify the 'let's break things' mentality.”
Ko was encouraged by the number of teenagers that participated in the event.
“It was especially encouraging to see high school students making up more than 50% of the participants,” he adds, “When asked about their career aspirations, many of these students told us they didn’t wish to be hackers, but aspired to invent cool security technologies to counter the unsustainable number of attacks faced by organisations worldwide.”
The competition featured three rounds where participants could showcase their skills in combating simulated cyber security risks.
For more information, visit cybersecuritychallenge.org.nz