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November 27, 2018

19 Year-old from York Declared 2018 Cyber Security Challenge Winner

“Until you have lived through a real-life cyber threat, or worse, an attack, it can be difficult to know what to expect and exactly how that might look"

By CBR Staff Writer

Charlie Hosier a nineteen year-old from York has been declared the champion of this year’s Cyber Security Challenge.

The final happened in London where 42 non-professional cybersecurity experts took part in a series of challenges to show their skills in exposing an attack on a fictional cryptocurrency exchange firm.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK is a series of national competitions that gamify cyber security skill set challenges, with the aim of drawing in amateur coders and video gamers to the cyber security profession.

In order to reach the semi-final each contestant had to undertake online challenges that test their cyber security skill.

Cyber Security Challenge UK Champion of 2018 Charlie Hosier commented that: “It has been an amazing experience to take part in the Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass. The challenges and tasks really pushed us, but throughout we have had fun and I’ve met some great people.”

“I still can’t believe I won! It’s an amazing feeling and has given me a great opportunity to get my dream job in cyber security.”

Cyber Security Challenge

The final was held at Barclays’ HQ in Canary Wharf London where the 42 contestants were charged with mitigating a cyber security attack on fintech and cryptocurrency clients.

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The cyber security team at Barclays’ designed a series of cryptocurrency-theme challenges in which the contestants had to protect a fictional company from advanced cyberattacks.

In the challenge they worked as a team of researchers investigating the secure storage of a fintech start-up. The team discovers that a cryptocurrency malware has been installed and that data has been taken from the start-ups sales portal.

As we often see in real cyberattacks the threat actors  requested a ransom for the compromised data.

Cyber Security Challenge 2018

A human interaction component of the challenge takes place when the participants have to present their work and findings at a mock conference. This simulates a real world requirement of cybersecurity experts.

Paul Gillen, Head of Cyber Security Operations Centre, Barclays stated that: “Until you have lived through a real-life cyber threat, or worse, an attack, it can be difficult to know what to expect and exactly how that might look.”

“We have worked with Cyber Security Challenge UK, using cutting edge technology, to create what we believe to be the closest thing to a real-life situation.”

“Over the course of the weekend, it has been great to witness the contestants fully immerse themselves in the scenario we put to them.  We’ve seen some really excellent problem solving and quick thinking, with both skills being key to a successful role in cyber security. I’d like to personally wish all of the contestants the best of luck in their future careers.”

See Also: 28 UK Amateurs Compete to Hack a Bank in Cyber Security Challenge

Colin Lobley, CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK added that: “This latest Masterclass really highlights the multifaceted role that cyber security professionals now need to take on. Having great coding and computer literacy skills is still very useful, however other skills such as psychology and communication are equally important. “

“Knowing how to communicate the actions, steps and procedures that a business or organisation has taken to mitigate an attack are now business critical. We are really pleased that Barclays sees this too and is helping develop these skills in the UK.”

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