Feeds

Opening UK cyber-security challenge cracked

Prelude puzzle unpicked

Reducing security risks from open source software

Enthusiasts claim to have already solved the first test in the Cyber Security Challenge UK hunt for would-be cyber-security experts.

The challenge, consisting of a series of online and face-to-face competitions, was launched by UK security minister Baroness Neville-Jones on Monday. It is intended to inspire talented individuals to take up the fight against cybercrime as a career, addressing the growing skills shortage in the area.

The first two official competitions include an online treasure hunt that involves identifying vulnerabilities on a test website and a network defence exercise. Other competitions in the pipeline include a digital forensics test.

To whet appetites, the Cyber Security Challenge launched a code breaking puzzle. Participants in a Facebook group claim to have solved the opening (prelude) cyber puzzle, which hinges on making sense of the binary border on the puzzle page.

More than 1,700 registered on the opening morning of the competition. Some have already solved the opening cipher, competition organisers have confirmed, in an update to the official cyber-challenge Twitter account, saying: "Those who sent cipher answers: Thx for amazing response. Lots right. Lots wrong. We will mail everyone by end week 2 confirm which they r!"

Some of the competitions will include age-graded competitions so that sixth formers and schools compete against their peers instead of university post-grads. Those that get through the first (online) phase of each competition will progress to face-to-face playoffs that will decide the winners in each competition and age group.

A total of 30 prizes are promised during the competition's overall run. Prizes include internships at net security companies, funded courses at the SANS Institute, places at the Detica Cyber Security Academy and university bursaries. The scheme has the support of private security firms, such as Sophos and QinteQ, as well as the government.

More details on the various competitions, and how to enter, can be found on the cyber-security challenge website here. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.