Over a weekend in early December, UWA hosted Perth’s first Cyber Security conference. The conference consisted of two events run simultaneously, BSides Perth and Western Australia Capture the Flag (WACTF). BSides Perth is a series of talks and workshops with local and international security experts while WACTF is a ‘capture-the-flag’ cyber hacking competition run over two days where competitors solve technical security challenges for points. The player or team with the most points at the end of the weekend wins.
The weekend attracted over 230 participants with approximately 120 competing in the capture-the-flag hacking competition, which included 20 UWA students as well as a team made up of staff from UWA IT.
Ridge Shrubsall, who is a final year Master of Professional Engineering (Software Engineering) student, decided to take on the challenge by himself and took out first place. Ridge will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Canberra for the 2018 BSides Security Conference.
Ridge hopes that the contest will raise awareness of the need for cyber security skill within the UWA community. After competing in several capture-the-flag contests over the last year he is looking forward to the challenges ahead in 2018, saying, “These contests help me develop the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for.”
Second place went to a team consisting of UWA and Edith Cowan University students, while UWA student teams also placed eighth and ninth. The UWA IT staff team were the overall winner in the “Ineligible for Prizes’ category as the competition rules state that only high school students, current higher education students, higher education graduates (within the last year) and Information Security professionals with less than one year of experience can compete for prizes.
Ben Robson (UWA Faculty of Engineering Mathematical Sciences) (+61 8) 6488 7501