I found out about the Cyber Security Challenge quite recently, I think it was from someones twitter posting. Needless to say I found their website interesting. The opportunity to take part in online and face to face challenges all going towards the final Masterclass.
When I registered I found the site a little bit unintuitive where in it looks like the closing date to sign up seems to be when the challenge finishes, but once I had worked that out I signed myself up to a couple of challenges. One was designed by SANS & SOPHOS and it was a multiple choice quiz with approx 20 questions.
They were not easy questions! The were very varied and a real challenge. I made a deliberate attempt to not Google any of the answers as I wanted to use it as a test for my knowledge, but the windows questions did scare me if I am honest! So about a week or 2 later I got an email with my score, I scored 17.67 and it had took me an hour and forty eight minutes. I was happy with that score but even more happy when I found that had put me in the top 15 and earned me a place at a face to face event at Bletchley Park.
While this was going on I also received an invite to go up to Glasgow and take part in the Cyber Security Challenge Camp. When I found out I had manged to snag a place i was a little bit concerned I would end up being the oldest person there and completely out of my depth. I couldn’t have been more wrong every age seemed accommodated for and there was many different levels of experience present.
We were thrown in the deep end, split into teams and tasked with designing a security influenced product, my team decided to go with an idea I have previously blogged about. We spent time with security experts from Blackberry who helped flesh out our idea. We then had to present our idea in a 7 minute pitch to a VIP who decided the winner. Alas it was not my team but a product titled Billy Goat, I will leave you to work out what their product idea was.
Day two saw us getting on a bus to Tulliallan castle and the Scottish Police College where we were tasked with creating an evidence report for trial and recovering data from a Blackberry. The trail was to take part that very afternoon. Now one thing I must say is this was an experience money just cannot buy. It was also the task I was least looking forward to if I’m being 100% honest. But it was an amazing experience and really opened my eyes to the idea of working for the police in the future. The mock trials were both insightful and hilarious. Detective Inspector Eamonn Keane, head of the e-crime unit deserves a medal in my opinion for making it possible for us to have that experience and I hope over the next few years other people get to experience it too.
Our final task was NETWARS designed by SANS and used worldwide to test and teach network penetration testing. Again a great experience, it was England Vs Scotland and obviously Scotland won. I am not going to go into detail about NETWARS as I think it deserves a blog post all to itself.
So my experience so far?
Cyber Security Challenge are doing everything in their power to help people find direction in the cyber security industry and it can’t be an easy task but they make it look easy! I have made friends for life and people that no doubt will be there to help me over the years. So please support them by taking part in their challenges and maybe you could be going to the Masterclass in March 2014. You can signup athttps://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/