World's Top Cyber-experts Host Halloween Hackathon

Article date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 17:13 GMT

Halloween Hackathon

World-leading ethical hacking firm Secarma, based in Manchester, is staging its second annual hair-raising student hackathon aimed at bridging the skills gap in the cybersecurity industry.

The ‘Hackoween’ challenge, which is to take place over the course of five hours on Halloween (Wednesday 31st October), simulates the work carried out on a daily basis by ethical hackers at Secarma.

This year the number of participants has doubled, with 60 computer science students from Edge Hill University set to take part in a ‘real-life’ hacking challenge at UKFast Campus in Manchester. 

Teams will compete against each other with the goal (or ghoul) of finding vulnerabilities in a replica of a real-life business IT environment, with points awarded for identifying weaknesses and providing recommendations for fixing the problem.

The exercise is formulated and organised by some of the world’s top ethical hackers and provides a window into the skills required to join the cybersecurity industry.

More cyber-experts are desperately needed, to combat a sharp rise in data breaches, computer viruses and ransomware. The most recent government statistics reveal 43% of UK businesses reported a data breach in the past 12 months.

Paul Mason, Head of Education at Secarma said: “It’s an honour that twice as many students wish to take part in Hackoween this year. The real-world approach of the hacking challenges make it a perfect window into the life of an ethical hacker.

“Building on the success of last year, Secarma is looking at a number of options to help train more students from all backgrounds across the UK.

“We need to recruit more white-hat hackers to stay one step ahead of the criminals. By running an event like this and supporting the government’s Cyber First scheme, we want to encourage more talent to take up a career in the cybersecurity industry.”

Secarma is owned by UKFast founder and CEO Lawrence Jones and performs penetration testing for some of the world’s largest companies.

Jones said: “It’s incredibly exciting to host this Halloween Hackathon, inspiring young people to take up a career in tech and cybersecurity.

“Barely a day goes by without a cyber-attack making headlines, and the risks continue to grow. Secarma is committed to providing opportunities for students to understand what a career in penetration testing involves, learning from some of the best talent in the world.”

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