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Cyber Security Challenge puts London hours away from destruction

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A unique challenge in London has brought together dozens of potential bright sparks in the cyber security arena to try and save London from mass destruction.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK saw 41 contestants confronted with the same scenario: cyber-terrorists have hacked the network and gained control of the battleship HMS Belfast, whose guns now point towards City Hall, ready to blast Mayor Boris and the rest of London’s administration to smithereens. If that wasn’t enough, hackers have also compromised a small English town’s chemical waste treatment facility, water and electricity systems, putting thousands of lives at risk.

Gathered on the HMS Belfast, which is now moored on the Thames and serves as a museum rather than warship, the job of those on board is to overcome the hackers and avert disaster while a clock ticks away in the background. There is 48 hours standing between contestants and Armageddon as the challenge gets underway.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK has been created by companies and government bodies. No-one who took part currently works in the cyber-security industry, the idea is to identify new talent.

This event has been 10-months in the making and comes at the end of a series of different challenges to find the country’s next generation of cyber defenders. The competition was “the biggest and most realistic cyber-attack simulation run for civilians in the UK”.

GCHQ, the National Crime Agency, Lockheed Martin and the Airbus Group were among those on the look out for talent at the event. So while those taking part did not stand to win any money, they did have the chance to impress future employers.

At the end of the gruelling competition it was 21-year-old Adam Tonks that was crowned UK Cyber Security Champion.

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