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World set to collapse: NZ Cyber Security Challenge

17 May 2016

World set to collapse: NZ Cyber Security Challenge to the rescue

The world as we know it is on the verge of collapse. A group has been formed called the Coalition. Its members don’t like or trust each other but they share a common goal: to throw the world into chaos so they can take control of it themselves. After years of investigation by a global task force, key members of the Coalition have been identified. Now it’s a race to locate Coalition members who, after having been tipped off, have escaped and gone into hiding.

That is the task for those taking part in the 2016 New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge (NZCSC’16).

The challenge begins with an online qualifying round from 17 June to 1 July, followed by the competitive round at the University of Waikato on 14 and 15 July. The competition challenges competitors to tackle a number of cyber security issues. Last year 150 participants took part in the challenge. The youngest participant was 11 years old and the oldest was 44.

This is the third time the event has been held in New Zealand, and University of Waikato cyber security lab director Dr Ryan Ko says it will test the skills of those taking part as much as those organising it.

“The NZ Cyber Security Challenge addresses an important capabilities gap, while allowing industry experts to identify the brightest talent for this burgeoning but important IT sector.”

To extend this challenge to all corners of New Zealand, the team is introducing a new round this year: Round Zero. Round Zero is an online “Capture-the-Flag” challenge. It’s a teaser of what will happen on the challenge day. Top teams from this round will be invited to compete in Rounds One and Two on the university campus.

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“We welcome all cyber security enthusiasts to participate in Round Zero, and drop by for our cyber security careers fair on 14 July, regardless of their results,” says event chief organiser Dr Sivadon Chaisiri. “The cyber security industry provides a large spectrum of career options, above and beyond the usual public perception of penetration testers and ethical hackers.”

Round One is also a “Capture-the-Flag” exercise but more challenging. Teams have two hours to capture as many flags as possible, find loopholes and vulnerabilities in the systems, and simulate real life situations

In Round Two, teams are given administration credentials to a vulnerable server simulating a realistic business IT environment. Each team must simultaneously protect their own servers and maintain business continuity – representative of a real-life business dependant on IT availability.

Training will be provided by an industry professional on 14 July for Round One and Two participants.

NZCSC’16 is open to anyone living in New Zealand of any age, and is divided into three categories: Secondary, Tertiary and Industry/Open.

The challenge is hosted by the University of Waikato and supported by the New Zealand National Cyber Policy Office (Connect Smart), INTERPOL and Internet New Zealand. Internationally renowned keynote speakers will also be addressing the participants.

Entries are open now and close on 16 June. Those not participating in the challenge are welcome to drop by the cyber security careers fair on 14 July to explore potential career paths. For full details about the cyber security challenge, or to register, visit www.cybersecuritychallenge.org.nz


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