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Wednesday, 21 October 2020 11:24

Kaspersky's Secur'IT hacking competition attracts entrants from 24 universities

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Kaspersky's Secur'IT hacking competition attracts entrants from 24 universities Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

Four university students, competing as ByteMe, have won the first prize in the Secur'IT Cup, an annual hacking competition jointly organised by security outfit Kaspersky and Hackathons Australia.

The winning team comprised Ayesha Ahmed, a computer science student at Melbourne University; Kaif Ahsan, a software engineering student, also from Melbourne University; and Kavika Singhal, who is studying for a graduate degree in cyber security and behaviour at Western Sydney University. The trio took home $1000.

The second spot was shared; one winner was Sudo_Users which had one member: Harish Sankaraj Parameswaran, who is completing a masters of cyber security at RMIT University.

The other runner-up was team OK Google, comprising Valeria Velika, who is studying for a double major in in computer science and security; Lalitha Polamraju, who is studying for a double degree in networks in security and arts, majoring in French studies; and Amanda Tang, who is studying for a double degree in electrical engineering and networks in security, all being from Monash University.

The winners worked on a project to provide cyber security education for schools. It was designed to educate children and teenagers through schools. Ahsan said, “Our product can make a difference from one generation to the next. It targets a large group of people and more importantly, over a longer duration of time.”

winners kaspersky

Clockwise: Kavika Singhal, Kaif Ahsan and Ayesha Ahmed.

The project was quiz-based in a simulation environment and required students to give up personal information. The cyber education began at the point when a student agreed to volunteer information.

Singhal added: "The simulation environment gives students an experience on what it is like to be attacked by a phishing email or ransomware and how to take preventive measures.”

Parameswaran worked on a project to use machine learning for better threat prediction.

“Often, security analysts spend too much time manually analysing logs," he said. "This is time consuming and poses a higher possibility of online threats going unnoticed. My project utilises machine learning algorithms and capabilities to automate the process.

runner up kaspersky

One of the runners-up, Harish Sankaraj Parameswaran.

"Analysts will then be able to focus on identifying potential threats and securing the organisations network in a more efficient way.”

The other runner-up worked on a project to make users responsible.

Tang and Polamraju learnt through their internships placements what companies were exploring around IoT. “I learnt about the IoT responsibilities from getting the device to auditing and seeing if it has all the right controls in place," said Tang.

Their app design targets people who live in smart homes and use smart devices on a daily basis. Velika said: “I find it concerning when my parents use very simple passwords on their home Internet. When I think the future of IoT, I do hope more people are made aware of their cyber habits online with this app.”

runner up two kaspersky

Clockwise: The other runners-up: Valeria Velika, Lalitha Polamraju and Amanda Tang.

This is the second year in which students have been allowed to enter the Secur'IT Cup, an internationally recognised event. The competition was held on the weekend of 10 October and was aimed at students aged 18 to 28 from 24 different universities who formed 13 teams that were mentored by 11 industry experts.

Teams brought new age ideas to help solve cyber security issues in augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning and security of smart homes with 5G connectivity.

Kaspersky ANZ general manager Margrith Appleby said: “Our partnership with Hackathons Australia gave students an opportunity to work alongside industry experts and learn how to solve threats online that go hand in hand with emerging technologies.

"Students then gained additional cyber security skills to add to their resume. It is important for industry and education to work together in bridging the skill gap to produce a new future of cyber security professionals.”

Photos supplied by Kaspersky


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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