Cyber Security Success

19 September 2019

Following our recent Lower School success in the CyberFirst competition, we’re thrilled to announce further cyber success in OHS taking place over the summer. Three OHS students qualified for summer camps out of 28,000 students from across the country who entered the Cyber Discovery programme.

Following their qualification, Ruth and Izzi (then Year 10) were invited to spend a week at the universities of Birmingham and Lancaster, respectively, followed by a security course developed from a variety of SANS courseware covering Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking. This success was accompanied by an outstanding performance from Elizaveta (then Year 12), which placed her in the top 10 students in the country.

In light of her performance, Elizaveta was selected to attend the three-week Future Cyber Security Leaders Programme 2019. The Future Cyber Security Leaders Programme 2019 is a free exchange programme in the UK and the US for 10 UK and 10 US students who have already demonstrated significant talent for cyber security. It offers participants an exciting mixture of cyber security training, opportunities to network and engage with industry leaders and the chance to gain an immersive view of the UK and US cyber security landscape and career opportunities.

Topics covered during the intensive but exciting cyber security training included: network security, web applications and malware. In the latter training, they were even given a chance to play with, and then defend against, Wannacry, the ransomware that hugely affected Britain’s NHS a few years ago. There were many industry visits: EE, Google, BT, Cisco, to name but a few.

One of the most memorable experiences was the tour around the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. Elizaveta got to see tools that are designed to guess and brute-force device passwords, as well as boxes that would open certain phones within minutes. The FBI agent who runs the lab gave a detailed talk about the different techniques that the lab uses in order to provide evidence for various legal cases. And of course there were plenty of fun activities, such as a speedboat down the Thames in the UK and visiting Disneyland in Los Angeles!

Congratulations, also, to Elizaveta on securing a place at the St John’s College Mathematics Summer Camp for Girls. It was the inuagural year for this innovative programme, which saw 24 students from all over the world including Malaysia, Africa, and Japan, spending nearly two weeks living and studying at St John’s in order to find out what it is really like to study Maths at Cambridge.

The fully funded programme included lectures from high-profile academics, academically challenging problem-solving exercises on topics such as combinatorics and number theory, and guidance and support for STEP – a mathematics examination used by Cambridge before admission that is designed to test candidates on questions that are similar in style to undergraduate mathematics.

For anyone interested in problem-solving or code-breaking please note…

Cyber Discovery is an online learning programme for students aged 13–18 aimed at puzzle-lovers, problem solvers and code-crackers across the UK where they have the opportunity to uncover their hidden talents in cyber security. The first round runs from 3 September 2019 to 25 October 2019 so there is still plenty of time to enter!

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