The Cyber Challenge

Australia's first national Cyber Security competition "2012 Cyber Defence University Challenge", coordinated by the Australian Government and sponsored by Telstra, was held on 3-4 April 2012.

The Challenge aims to help raise public awareness of cyber issues in Australia and highlight career opportunities to encourage the development of Australian graduates in Information, Communications and Technology fields and particularly Cyber Security.

Fifteen University teams participated in the Challenge, which was conducted on-site at each competing university over a period of 24 hours. Selected by Dr Lei Pan for their technical strength, communication skills and teamwork abilities, IT Security undergraduates Eric Bentvelzen (captain), Sean Hutton (vice-captain) and Tim Borinkhof represented Deakin in the Challenge.

Further to testing each team's technical skills in finding and exploiting vulnerabilities, the Challenge also tests the team's ability to devise vulnerability remediation procedures and processes for monitoring and/or detecting future exploitation.

The task presented to Deakin's Team was to conduct a penetration test on an imaginary medical institute's IT infrastructure and to make recommendations based on the test results.

Successful completion of the task was rewarded with a possible maximum of 200 points, split across two categories - the hacking related task (67% of the total weight) and non-hacking related tasks (33%). Our team scored 123 points, obtained mostly from the non-hacking related tasks, which put them in 14th position. While being the smallest team, they successfully finished many sub-tasks, achieving the third highest work rate (based on number of points won compared to the number of team members, with 41 points per person).

Congratulations to the Team for a great effort and to Dr Lei Pan for his coaching prior to the Challenge; Adjunct A/Prof Ray Hunt who conducted a one-day workshop for the team members on using Metasploit.

To improve the performance for future participation, Dr Lei Pan will establish a study group in 2012, consisting of students who are interested in web security and who are interested in participating in the 2013 challenge.

Based on the above activities and feedback from the team members, we are pleased to have confirmation that our IT Security degree is relevant, important and up-to-date.

Dr Lei Pan
Dr Lei Pan

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