A group of four of us had the pleasure of taking part in Cyber Centurion VII this year, an annual cyber security competition run by Cyber Security Challenge UK. There are three rounds, each lasting 6 hours, which this year took place in November, December and March. The objective of each round is to successfully find and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities on computer networks, in order to defend it against attack (think of it as reverse-hacking!). For each round, we had three ‘images’ (systems) to help defend - an Ubuntu image, a Windows, and a Windows Server. We’d work on securing these, anticipating what potential hackers might exploit, and stopping them from doing so. It was an incredibly fun and rewarding experience, and we all learned a lot!
Here is what the team had to say about their experiences:
‘I enjoyed every minute of this, from working hard to find flaws in the system, to hearing the rewarding ping of the scoring system telling us we’d gained points! I’m looking forward to doing this again next year and learning more about cybersecurity techniques and tools - it’s a useful skill for everyone to have!’ - Jenny Z
‘The competition was an incredible experience which was definitely worth the time. The best part was how much I learnt through the rounds, as it forces you to cover more and more as the rounds go on. It was incredibly rewarding, and I hope I get the chance to do it again next year.’ - Kaitlyn C
‘Since this was our first year doing Cyber Centurion, we had no idea what to expect. However, using the resources and practice rounds, we quickly gained knowledge and experience unlike any cyber security competition we'd done. One of my favourite aspects would definitely be the anticipation of watching the leaderboards change, and the thrill of finally getting points after spending hours over an issue. I particularly liked how Cyber Centurion covers the blue team aspect of cyber security (that is, defending as opposed to attacking), and cannot wait to compete with my team again.’ - Reva B
‘Cyber Centurion has been an amazing experience. I’ve loved working with my friends and learning new skills constantly throughout the process. This competition has helped me understand the field of cyber security more and I’m excited to play again.’ - Sarina K
If this seems of interest to anyone, or if you’d just like to learn more about cyber security, then please feel free to contact any of us via email! We’d all love to see more people becoming involved in cyber!
By Jenny, Kaitlyn, Reva and Sarina