by George Nott

Government calls on white hat hackers

Feb 01, 2017

The Australian Government is urging white hat hackers to enter a 24-hour cyber security competition.

Student teams of four are being invited to enter the fifth Cyber Security Challenge Australia (CySCA), which was last held in 2015.

CySCA is open to full-time Australian university undergraduates and undergraduate-equivalent TAFE students based in Australia.

The best performing team will win a trip to DEFCON 2017 in Las Vegas and the top team of first year students will be taken to RUXCON 2017 in Melbourne.

The competition, which will be held in May, is a “24-hour virtual game that tests cyber penetration and forensic analysis skills”, the government said.

The aim of the challenge is to help government and business to find the next generation of local cyber security talent, minister assisting the Prime Minister for cyber security Dan Tehan said.

“The fifth Cyber Security Challenge Australia will expose undergraduate and vocational students to the variety of careers available in cyber security, while highlighting their skills to some of Australia’s most dynamic employers,” he said in a statement.

“Australia must address its critical shortage of skilled cyber security professionals.”

Teams from the University of New South Wales took the top spots at CySCA 2015, while the Australian Defence Force Academy, Edith Cowan University, the University of Sydney and the University of Adelaide won categories including First to Finish Corporate Penetration Testing and Best Communicators.

This year’s challenge has attracted the corporate sponsorship of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cisco, Telstra, Facebook and Microsoft as well as security and data firms HackLabs and Splunk.

“It is estimated that by 2020, global demand for information security professionals will create an additional 1.5 million jobs. That represents an incredible opportunity for young people to pursue a career in cyber security, and for Australia to identify and harness those talents for our economic and national security interests,” Tehan added.