What would your reaction be if cyber-terrorists had seized control of HMS Belfast and its massive guns and were planning on using them to blast Boris Johnson into the stratosphere?
Aside from the obvious clinking of glasses, would you have the requisite skills to get on your computer terminal and put a stop to the attack? That’s what the Cyber Security Challenge Masterclass is hoping to find out.
The Challenge Masterclass is the final stage of the Cyber Security Challenge, which was set up to unearth the country’s untapped resources in a field which is experiencing a huge skills shortage. Potential winners have been whittled down over the last 10 months to the final group: 42 amateur InfoSec warriors with skills that are very much in demand, especially by the event’s sponsors, such as GCHQ, PGI, the National Crime Agency and Lockheed Martin.
The final simulation, which is currently taking place aboard HMS Belfast, tasks the hopeful candidates with preventing our beloved Boris and the rest of City Hall from being wiped out by a Howitzer shell, after Belfast’s systems were targeted by an imaginary hacktivist group calling themselves the ‘Flag Associates’.
The challengers will also have to prevent the fictional cyber-terrorists from wreaking havoc on a local water treatment plant.
By close of business tonight, the challenge will have found its champion. And while the winner won’t be guaranteed a job, they should be in a very strong position to acquire gainful employment with one of the many companies looking to spend big to fortify their cyber security and ensure that they don’t become another Sony…or worse.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for the Cyber Security Strategy and National Cyber Security Programme, said: “Both government and business need skilled and talented people to feed the demand for better cyber security in the UK. This competition is the biggest and best yet and events like this play an important role in helping provide the next generation of cyber professionals.”
This year’s contest may nearly be over, but registrations will soon open for next year’s programme. If you think you’ve got what it takes to defend the nation’s electronic frontiers from cyber-attacks, you can head over to the Challenge website and learn more.