One hundred and fifty would-be cyber security experts will attempt to save the world, virtually, in the third annual New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge to be staged at the University of Waikato on 14 and 15 July.
Launching the event, a statement from the university said: “The world as we know it is on the verge of collapse. A group has been formed called the Coalition. Its members don’t like or trust each other but they share a common goal: to throw the world into chaos so they can take control of it themselves.
“After years of investigation by a global task force, key members of the Coalition have been identified. Now it’s a race to locate Coalition members who, after having been tipped off, have escaped and gone into hiding.”
The 150 participants from around New Zealand have been selected from the original field of 267 in an online qualifying round held from 17 June to 1 July. They will compete in two rounds on the University campus. The university said the contest would “challenge competitors to tackle a number of cyber security issues. The youngest competitor in 2015 was 11 years old.
Chief event organiser Dr Sivadon Chaisiri says the purpose of the Cyber Security Challenge was to raise awareness about cyber security and also to record data from the competitors for research purposes.
“We'll be able to see how competitors break into the systems and how they attempt to solve the problems,” Chaisiri said.
“If we can see what steps people are taking, it's very valuable information for making systems safer in the future.”
The event will be combined with a one day conference and a Cyber Security Job Fair in the University's Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences.
Speakers at the conference will include the University’s Cyber Security Lab director, Dr Ryan Ko, Kimmo Ulkuniemi from Interpol, Tim Goddard from business telecoms provider Kordia, and Dr Daisuke Inoue from Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, NICT.
Details are available from www.cybersecuritychallenge.org.nz