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Apr 29, 2016 07:52 AM EDT

Top Student Hackers: Compete For Intercollegiate Cyber Security Challenge [WATCH]

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The Inter-ACE Cyberchallenge is an intercollegiate hacking competition among 10 of the UK's 13 Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. However, instead of a purely hacker tournament, the competition has a sports twist.

The Inter-ACE Cyberchallenge is composed of different hacker challenges that are formatted similar to popular sports activity. They competed in on sensitive situations that require forensics, cryptography, web security and reverse engineering skills. The cybersecurity hacking competition was hosted in the University of Cambridge in the UK.

To win, teams must undergo a "capture the flag" hacker version where they search for secret line codes or "flags" using their skills. BBC reports that the challenge was designed by Facebook engineers. Another challenge involves taking control of a server and defending them while trying to prevent others from doing the same.


Light Blue Touch Paper reports that Cambridge University won gold in both team and individual competitions. University of Oxford and University of Southampton won silver and bronze respectively in the individual competitions. Imperial College of London and University of Southampton won the second and third place in the team events.

The organizer of the Inter-ACE Cyberchallenge Dr. Frank Stajano, is also the reader in security and privacy at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory. He hopes that the buzz for the annual contest will let students strive to become good cyber security experts. This way, they will have the necessary skills to battle against criminal hackers that are intent on causing mayhem online.

Business Weekly notes that the hacker competition was similar to the cyber security exercise between the Cambridge University and MIT that was held in March. The hackathon exercise was promoted by US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The initiative was highly applauded by the government and business owners as it encourages the cooperation of students around the world to become better cyber security experts.

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