ITE trio tops virtual cyber security competition

This article was contributed by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

A team of three ITE students have emerged winners of a virtual cyber security Capture the Flag (CTF) competition, which featured student teams from Australia and Canada.

In such a competition, ‘flags’ are secrets hidden in purposefully-vulnerable programmes, and competitors steal flags either from other competitors (attack/defence-style CTFs) or from the organisers (jeopardy-style challenges).

Liew Wen Yu, Jodain Mohammed Bin Mohammad Fairuzi, and Shawn Lim Jun Jie beat eight other teams from ITE, Australia’s Box Hill Institute (BHI) and Canada’s Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) to clinch the top position. Wen Yu and Jodain are first year students in the Higher Nitec in Cyber and Network Security course, while Shawn is a first year student in the Higher Nitec in IT Systems and Networks course.

The trio competed under the team name ‘DedSec’, a shortened form of ‘dead security’ which represents their belief that no system is secure from vulnerabilities.

‘We were very surprised when we found out that we have won. It was a tough competition, with strong teams from other countries. We are very happy to have honed and proven our abilities at an international level,’ said Wen Yu.

‘Winning the competition gave us a strong sense of achievement, knowing that our hard work has paid off. It has also given us a boost of confidence and inspired us to take our passion in cyber security to greater heights,’ said Jodain.

Held by ITE and the National Cybersecurity Research & Development Lab, the competition served to promote skills exchanges with ITE’s global partners. ITE, BHI, and SAIT are members of the Global Education Network (GEN), an international network of post-secondary education institutions.

“The GEN Capture-the-Flag competition provided the students with an exciting global experience to grow and enhance their learning and gain new insights into today’s fast-moving Cyber Security industry. The programme has helped the students to have a global mindset, which they never expected was possible in the early stages of their careers. By challenging students from across the globe in remote environments, it provides our students with more opportunities to connect and engage in place of exchange programmes, and these connections are more important than ever for innovation and growth,” said Ms Jo Cave, Head of Cyber Security, Management and IT, Box Hill Institute, Australia.

"Our [SAIT] teams had a tremendous amount of fun participating in this year’s Capture the Flag event. It was great to see the engagement from the students and to share in their experience from the perspective of a coach. I really look forward to the next event!" said Mr Andrew Campbell, Instructor, School of Information & Communications Technologies, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada.

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