10 January 2018 • Saman Barjas
Viva Las Vegas
Cracking a secret code was one puzzle that the Information Security Management students had to solve to come in first in an international competition. Their prize? A trip to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
For students in the Information and Communications Technology degree programme specialising in Information Security Management (ISM), participating in competitions is a great way to develop their skills. Making up the HHSec. Team were Wesley Groenestein, Wouter Mulder, Matthijs Vogel, Glenn Jacobs (all second-year students) and Luc Pluimakers (a first-year student). Saman Barjas, an ISM lecturer, coached them in competing in the DevoGames, the Futurecamp Challenge, organised by two ICT companies, Devoteam and RedHat.
Cracking a secret code
DevoGames is an international competition in which teams from France, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands compete. The competition consisted of two parts. First, the students had to solve six puzzles. In just one hour, they had to solve problems like cracking secret codes and finding messages hidden in pictures. The HHSec Team was successful in this mission: they solved the puzzles within 40 minutes. The second assignment was more difficult: come up with an innovative idea that would improve the lives of students and lecturers on their campus.
The team chose the idea of having a PentestHub; this is a place where students, businesses and government agencies gather to improve the cybersecurity of applications, software and websites. In this way, the participants in the PentestHub could improve national – and, in some cases, international – security. This would solve several problems in a single go. For one thing, SMEs, which are currently frequent victims of cyber attacks, could improve their security at less expensive rates. In addition, THUAS students could obtain practical experience and also expand their networks.
The finalists of the competition were announced on 1 December. HHSec was one of the five international finalists and could present itself to the jury in Devoteam’s corporate offices in Paris on 15 December. Their presentation went very well. After an exciting climax, it became clear that HHSec had won. This meant that Devoteam would donate 330 euros to Foundation KiKa and that HHSec will go to the CES (the Consumer Electronics Show). This show, which is held every year in Las Vegas, is where major brands present their latest technologies in the areas of audio, television, autonomously driven vehicles and smart devices.
The winning students in the HHSec Team