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UK Cyber Security Challenge renewal promises better prizes

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The UK's Cyber Security Challenge is promising a renewal of the competition, with more competitions on a broader range of topics and better prizes.

The Challenge, successfully run last year as a way of promoting interest in information security as a career and unearthing hidden pools of talent, is once again backed by the UK government.

Last year's exercises have involved one-off code-breaking puzzles as well as a more structured programme of network security exercises culminating in a grand final, which was won by Dan Summers, a postman from Wakefield.

This year's event will include exercises involving penetration testing, malware forensics, and network defence among a total of eight competitions, each testing a different cyber-security skill.

Competitions will run more frequently throughout the year and some will offer multiple opportunities to play, allowing more people the chance to participate. Winners in each of the eight categories will compete in a semi-final before the most accomplished performers face off in a masterclass grand final, due to be held in HP Labs, near Bristol.

The Government’s Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance is giving £180k in sponsorship to help the scheme along. Organisations providing logistical and financial support for the scheme include PWC, Sophos, the SANS Institute, HP Labs, Cassidian and QinetiQ, the US Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center is also getting on board by running and promoting the digital forensics strand of the competition.

Organisers of the scheme are seeking further sponsors ahead of the opening of competition to schools and members of the general public in May.

More details on the renewal can be found on the official Cybersecurity challenge website here. ®

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