Hack­ing away for Hal­lowe’en

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

ETH­I­CAL hack­ing firm Se­carma has staged its sec­ond an­nual hair-rais­ing stu­dent hackathon, aimed at bridg­ing the skills gap in the cy­ber­se­cu­rity in­dus­try.

More than 60 com­puter sci­ence stu­dents from Edge Hill Univer­sity took part in a “real-life” hack­ing chal­lenge at UKFast Cam­pus, in Manch­ester.

The “Hack­oween” chal­lenge took place over five hours on Hal­lowe’en, sim­u­lat­ing the work car­ried out on a daily ba­sis by eth­i­cal hack­ers at Se­carma.

Teams com­peted with the goal of find­ing vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in a replica of a busi­ness IT en­vi­ron­ment, with points awarded for iden­ti­fy­ing weak­nesses and pro­vid­ing rec­om­men­da­tions.

The ex­er­cise pro­vides a win­dow into the skills re­quired to join the cy­ber se­cu­rity in­dus­try.

More ex­perts are des­per­ately needed, to com­bat a sharp rise in data breaches, com­puter viruses and ran­somware.

Re­cent gov­ern­ment sta­tis­tics re­veal 43% of UK busi­nesses re­ported a data breach in the past 12 months. Head of ed­u­ca­tion at Se­carma, Paul Ma­son, said: “It’s an hon­our that twice as many stu­dents wish to take part in Hack­oween this year.

“The real-world ap­proach of the hack­ing chal­lenges make it a per­fect win­dow into the life of an eth­i­cal hacker. We need to re­cruit more white-hat hack­ers to stay one step ahead of the crim­i­nals.”

Hack­oween stu­dents in ac­tion

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