Cyber Security Challenge 2018

This weekend I drove a group of four students from Nelson, on the South Island, to the University of Waikato in Hamilton for the Cyber Security Challenge.

They had a range of speakers who presented various topics ranging from policy statements to something interesting, albeit a bit scary, called mouse-jacking where a hacker can use keylogging to compomise and take over a system through a vulnerability in certain wireless mice on the network.

As more of our lives move online, security needs to be stepped up across the board. This conference encourages people towards that side of the industry and the competition was a blast.

I’ve just started CTF (Capture the Flag) challenges this year after being cajoled by some students. If you’re not familiar, the basic idea behind it is that a vulverability is created in a “walled garden” or “sandbox” environment. You’re job is to find the vulnerability which is accompanied by a digital flag in the form of a string of characters. Sometimes the flag is apparant and sometimes it needs decrypted. In either case, the first team to enter the correct flag into the scoring system gets X number of points depending on difficulty. It’s very competitive and very fun. Getting the flags is a gratifying experience for, I guess, a certain type of person.

Now our Nayland College team wants to create their own CTF challenge which will be a great learning experience for them. I also am keen to get involved and support them.

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