Game On as GC students try to ‘hack’ their way into DEF CON

TAFE Queensland Gold Coast Information and Technology and Cyber Security students have the opportunity to disrupt their studies for 24 hours as they attempt to “hack” their way to DEF CON, one of world’s largest hacker conventions, at this year’s annual Cyber Security Challenge Australia (CySCA) at TAFE Queensland’s Coomera campus on 9 and 10 October 2018.

The only one of its kind in Australia, the cyber security hacking competition is organised by the alliance of Australian Government, businesses and academic professionals who are committed to finding the next generation of Australian cyber security talent.

This year’s competition has a strong focus on women in cyber and offers a mentoring program to all female competitors to encourage greater participation in the industry.
The competition is free to enter for Australian university undergraduates and TAFE students.

CySCA will test competing teams on their technical and communication skills through a series of ‘real-life’ scenarios.

Competing IT and cyber security teams from across the country will have the opportunity to get exposure to industry thought leaders, gain additional skills required for a career in the industry, network and build friendships with other students across Australia and win great prizes including tech gear and access to cyber security conferences around the world.

In the cyber challenge, players will assume the role of a fictitious in-house security team at an incubator and co-location company. In addition to managing the company’s network, the in-house security team also provides limited security services for customers using shared services.

Richard Barrett, Faculty Director at TAFE Queensland’s Coomera campus stated that the Gold Coast is fielding four teams of 2 to 4 players and they are preparing themselves for the ‘big hack’.

“Students are allowed to set up their game environment a week before the event, familiarise themselves with specialty software and websites and able to test the VPN connections to the challenge site in preparation for the event which has attracted 433 students from 36 educational institutions across Australia,” he said.

“Each team will be involved in several tasks during the competition. These include web application penetration testing, exploitation, performing penetration tests on corporate networks across multiple network zones, undertaking near-real time active defence on corporate systems, forensics, and hacking Internet of Things (IoT).”

The first prize is a trip to the USA to attend DEF CON in August 2019, including flights, accommodation and mobile devices for the winning team. Second prize is a trip to Kiwicon in November while the third prize winners will attend BSides 2019 in Canberra.

Additional prizes for the Highest Scoring Team of Vocational Education Training (VET) students, First Year Students, All Female Students and the first team to capture the Most Difficult Exploitation Challenge are also on offer.

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