11 Jan 2018

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Members of Team Turing, one of the eight teams participants were split into, working together to stop a cyber attack

Six players who topped our Face-to-Face Challenge segment in July this year as part of the Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore were in London, United Kingdom (UK) from 12 to 15 November 2017 to compete in the Cyber Security Challenge (CSC) UK Masterclass Final. They join 42 other winners from various Face-to-Face (F2F) competitions held across the UK in the three-day competition held at the historical Trinity House.

The Masterclass Final placed the contestants in real-life situations faced by industry experts and challenged them to showcase their technical, analytical-thinking, decision-making and interpersonal skills. Contestants were tasked to uncover a breach and repel an attack faced by a fictitious shipping company. In the scenario given, an international hacking syndicate had taken control of the company’s servers with the help of a corrupt executive and compromised systems that control its vessel and portside machinery. In a race against time, contestants had to stop the attack before the company collapsed.

The winners were announced at an awards dinner on 14 November. 22-year-old computer science student, Mo Rahman, took the top spot.

The event provided our players an opportunity to network with sponsors and representatives from major companies in the industry. Chua Tianxiang, one of the Singaporean contestants, said, “The Masterclass had a realistic scenario that tested a wide range of skills. The evidence we gathered was even presented in a mock court proceeding and we had to issue change requests to the fictitious organisation so that we adhere to their policies and processes. It showed us that we need not just technical knowledge, but soft skills are equally important. I’m happy and thankful to be able to participate.’’

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With their certificates of participation, the contestants posed with Nigel Harrison, Acting CEO of CSC UK

Following the exciting and intense competition, our contestants took some time out to visit Bletchley Park, home to British codebreaking and the birthplace of modern information technology.

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Guide Frank Yabsley giving the contestants a tour of Bletchley Park and its history. Established in 1938 as a codebreaking centre, Bletchley Park became a heritage site in 1993

A guided tour of Bletchley Park was arranged where the players learnt that, during World War Two, methods were devised here to allow Allied forces to decipher military codes and ciphers, which was vital to their eventual victory against the Germans.

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One of the highlights of the visit – seeing the Alan Turing Bombe Rebuild Project in the flesh!

Our players then proceeded to BAE Systems’ ‘Nerve Centre’ which is located in Blue Fin Building. Representatives from BAE Systems gave a presentation covering BAE Systems’ work in areas such as penetration testing, malware reverse engineering and threat intelligence.

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Inside the ‘Nerve Centre’ of BAE Systems

Ngo Wei Lin, one of the contestants commented, “The competition gave us a chance to work with like-minded cybersecurity enthusiasts, as well as network with professionals in the cybersecurity industry. The visits arranged to Bletchley Park and BAE Systems’ ‘Nerve Centre’ was an eye-opener, and it certainly piqued my interest to explore the various domains of cybersecurity further.”

The next Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore will commence in early 2018. Watch this space for updates!