A group of Computing learners from the Grimsby Institute have been announced as the Cyber Security Schools Challenge winners at Cyber Games 2.0, held at Cheltenham Science Fair and Cheltenham College.
Cyber Games 2.0 was organised with global technology and defence company Raytheon and The Smallpeice Trust, who run hands on school exercises in engineering and technology, and are funded by the Cabinet Office through the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme.
Level 3 Computing learners; Curtis Bloomfield, Scott Walters, Rhys Kirk, Paul Chisholm, all spent the day in Cheltenham for the two-part competition, where they were tasked with finding a series of cards during the Science Festival that could then be used to crack encoded systems and find a hostage; that was being held captive within Cheltenham College.
Nineteen-year-old Scott Walters, who also received a Leadership Award for the way in which he lead the group, explained: “For the first half of the day we had to go around the Science Fair and collect attack cards, by cracking different cyphers, which we then used for the second part of the day.
“In the afternoon, we had to go into a room and, using an app on an iPad, we had to answer different questions using the attack cards – then we had to move on to the next stage to finally free the hostage. Our strategy was different to the other teams because we broke each stage down and worked on different tablets.”
Paul Chisholm, who is currently studying on Year 2 of the programme, said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the competition. I’d never done anything like it before and it was something different. I want to go on to Computer Security and Ethical Hacking when I go to University so the competition was perfect for me, it will really look good on my CV and I even met some important people from the industry.”
James Jackson, Grimsby Institute’s Programme Leader for Level 3 Computing, added: “Cyber Security is something that’s very difficult to put into practice in the real world. This was an excellent way of the learners getting the chance to experience it in a controlled setting.”
Jemma Wright, Grimsby Institute’s Curriculum Leader for Business & Computing, added: “I think everyone at the Institute has been completely stunned with the result. The learners had only entered the competition for the experience because it sounded like it would be so much fun and give them the chance to develop the practical skills that, because of the nature of the industry, are normally only theory based. We’re all immensely proud of the learners for winning.”
Prizes for the competition included a Lego Mindstorm robot, a Ropbosapien, a Raspberry Pi starter kit and other learning resources.