Young hacker defends Britain from a national threat

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?I would like to be able to do some good in the world,? said Will Shackleton after he was crowned as champion in the Cyber Security Challenge held under London’s streets in Winston Churchill’s World War 2 bunker at the weekend.

Out of 42 young techies who tried to defend Britain from a cyber attack that put chaos and disabled power network in banks, Cambridge University of Lancaster a computer science student Shackleton was able to save Britain from a computer virus ? cyber-armageddon — that threatens national security.

The team of geeks was task to decode and destroy a bug in order to save Britain from permanent blackout and to brief the prime minister on how to win the battle against an unseen enemy.

The simulated war game was developed by cyber security experts from BT, GCHQ, the National Crime Agency (NCA), Juniper Networks and Lockheed Martin.

Cyber Security Challenge UK, which began in 2010, is a set of nationwide competitions aiming to get more talented people and bring them into the cyber security profession. Now, with over 75 sponsors from the UK?s leading security and government organizations, industry and academia, the CSC UK has grown bigger as it includes schools for specific challenge with over ?100,000 worth of educational prizes that includes paid internships and training courses. This is to address a critical skills gap that affects government bodies, businesses as well as the citizens.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said in the launching of the simulated war, “To get ahead in the global race we need more people with the skills and abilities to protect businesses and meet the challenges of the future?. Maude also honored the Cyber Security Challenge for bringing together security services, law enforcement and industry to encourage talented people into cyber security careers.

?Ultimately, better cyber security should not be viewed as a necessary evil ? it is also an opportunity,? said Maude revealing that some of those you reached the final stage of the competition from the past actually landed a work in the field of cyber security.

Moreover, Maude added that cyber security is “one of the industries of the future that can help the UK achieve strong, lasting growth, and it will help us all reap maximum benefit from the limitless potential of the information age.?

And for UK?s promising amateur cyber defenders who want to try their luck and want to join the next Cyber Security Challenge, registration is open on 17 March 2014.

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