Cyber Security Challenge UK competition seeks sleuths to crack encrypted hard drive

Cyber-Security-Challeng-UKSophos is calling on members of the UK public to turn cyber sleuth as part of a competition sponsored with Cyber Security Challenge UKAssignment Flag Drive is the second competition in the 2014/15 series of online and face-to-face cyber battles aimed at uncovering the best amateur security talent.

This latest competition sees the introduction of a new (although entirely fictional) nemesis – The Flag Day Associates. Interested amateur security sleuths in the UK can sign up before 15th August for the Assignment Flag Day competition.

Assignment Flag Drive

The fictitious Flag Day Associates first appeared in a video featuring three masked individuals warning of a future cyber attack on the UK.

Last month, over 1,000 amateur cyber defenders signed up to help decipher the first clue in the investigation of the Flags – a suspicious communication described as having been sent between members of the group.

In this latest portion of the competition, amateur cyber security enthusiasts are asked to break into an encrypted hard drive left behind by the Flag Day Associates and report on what information they can ascertain.

The highest ranked entrants from the Sophos competition will automatically qualify for the first of a series of reconnaissance meet-ups at secret locations around the UK to carry out investigations face-to-face in teams. As well as uncovering vital clues on the objectives and identities of the Flag Day Associates, these meet-ups will determine the finalists who will take on the Flag Day Associates at the Masterclass final next year.

James Lyne, Global Head of Security Research at Sophos, says this competition requires many of the key skills security professionals need in the workplace.

“It will have forensic and offensive aspects to it and be accessible to all levels. Best of all — part of the game involves a collection of interesting Internet of Things devices,” James says. “I’m looking forward to seeing the creative approaches the players take to overcoming the Flag Day Associates.”

“Sophos has been a great supporter of the Challenge since its first year, and always provide exciting competitions that bring candidates face-to-face with realistic scenarios and situations that the industry is tackling today,” says Challenge CEO Stephanie Daman.”We await to see what our candidates can learn about the Flag Day Associates from the mysterious drive left behind.”


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