40 security and technology-savvy enthusiasts have participated in Symantec’s first Cyber Readiness Challenge on Belgian soil, last week at Belgium’s Infosecurity 2013 fair in Brussels Expo. The interactive ‘capture the flag’ style competition is designed for all levels of technical expertise and puts participants in the role of a hacker seeking to infiltrate and exploit an organization.
The CRC experience is intended to help participants better understand the targets, technology tricks and thought processes of a cyber criminal - with an ultimate goal of enabling them to be more effective in their work.
IT security is an industry where you are supposed to defend yourself against attacks that you can’t rehearse for. There’s no practice that you go to after school to attack other people in a safe and clean learning event – this is exactly what an event like the Cyber Readiness Challenges offers the IT security community.
The Brussels event provided participants and onlookers with a rare opportunity to implement theoretical knowledge, while sharpening their skills, expanding their security awareness, and competing in an exciting challenge against their peers.
It was a pleasant surprise to have a 22 year old student Applied Computer Science (at the Belgian university KU Leuven) beat a masterclass of seasoned IT security specialists and win a ticket to Nice for the European CRC later this year. Congratulations, @tomvangoethem!
Tom is specializing in web security, currently writing a thesis on the state of online security in Belgium. However, it is rather the broad range of the CRC that made the game compelling he believes: “It featured every security aspect, from web app security to system security, even with a bit of cryptography. You can certainly use your expertise, but there are also a few hidden gems where you really have to think like a cyber criminal. I guess I got a bit lucky in the end to have read about recent techniques to solve a few challenges. It allowed me to beat the runner-up in speed, with levelled scores.”
The Brussels challenge is one of many Cyber Readiness events to be hosted by Symantec around the world. Upcoming events will be held in Paris, France; Las Vegas, US; Prague, Czech Republic; London, UK; Nashville, US and Rome, Italy.
To learn more about the challenge, visit: http://www.symantec.com/theme.jsp?themeid=cyber-readiness-challenge.