30 Nov 2018

Cybersecurity Challenge UK Masterclass 
Singaporean player Solomon Tan working with his team members to investigate a cyber-attack as part of the competition.

Six winners from the Face-To-Face (F2F) segment of the second Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore were in London, United Kingdom (UK) to compete in the Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass Final recently. Spanned across three days from 24 to 26 November 2018, the Masterclass Final included the participation of 42 other players selected from various F2F competitions held across the UK.

Held at Barclays’ Headquarters, the Masterclass Final provided opportunities for participants to showcase their cybersecurity skills in a simulated industry environment. Following the news that a fictitious cryptocurrency exchange company’s sales portal had been infected with cryptomining malware and had their data held ransom, players had to work in teams to investigate the attack. The competition also required them to present their findings to media and key stakeholders in a mock press conference, mirroring real world business demands and applications of cybersecurity.

The Masterclass Final culminated with an awards dinner where the winners were announced. 19-year-old Charlie Hosier took the top prize as the 2018 Cyber Security Challenge UK Champion. Players also had the opportunity to network with representatives from organisations in the industry as they learnt more about the different roles in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Challenge UK Masterclass  
Our players posing with their certificates of participation.

19-year-old student Chang Si Yuan, one of the Singaporean contestants, said, “The Masterclass has been an eye-opening experience. Aside from the deskbound element of the competition, I experienced other interesting aspects of investigations such as suspect interrogation and handing over of findings, all while handling live attacks, generating reports and even getting grilled during the mock press conference. These are realistic elements which you would not find in regular competitions.”

Following the Masterclass competition, the players headed to Bletchley Park, a heritage site which was once the top-secret home of the World War II Codebreakers. The symbolic venue is where Alan Turing, one of world’s most famous codebreakers, cracked the ‘Engima’, a type of enciphering machine used by German armed forces to send messages during the World War II.

Cybersecurity Challenge UK Masterclass 
Players being given a guided tour around the historic of Bletchley Park.

The players went on a guided tour and were briefed on how codebreakers did their work during the war. This was followed by an educational tour of BAE Systems headquarters at the Blue Fin Building. It was there that the players were introduced to the fundamentals of cyber threat intelligence and the current cybersecurity landscape.

20-year-old Ragul Balaji commented, “For those of us who have a passion for computing, Alan Turing’s historic breakthrough in Bletchley Park is an iconic subject in codebreaking. To walk around the campus where they changed the fate of the second world war was inspiring. Overall, the players that I have engaged with, the places have I visited and the stories I have heard have strengthened my interest in cybersecurity.”

The third edition of the Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore will begin in the first half of 2019. Stay tuned for updates!