14 July 2015 – Five SoC students distinguished themselves at the Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp (CDDC) 2015 that was held in June.
Ho Wei Xiong, who recently graduated with a double degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, was part of the team that won first place, Team SMUNTUNUS.E Second place winners Team WeBreakStuff comprised of third year Computer Science students Eugene Lim Hong Hui, Matthew Saw Han Qiang, Low Wei Lin and Khor Shi-Jie (who is also studying Mathematics). Team WeBreakStuff also won the ‘Best Defenders’ award ‘for demonstrating exceptional capability in defending their systems’. This year, there was a record turnout of 323 participants from 22 schools, including 52 NUS students.
The CDDC is an annual event organised by the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) to develop interest and talent in cybersecurity in students. Participants were trained on the psyche of and techniques used by both cyber attackers and cyber security professionals, via labs and lectures taught by DSTA experts, over two days. On the third day, in a simulated ‘real-world’ environment, they competed to keep their systems and network running while defending against cyber-attacks.
“The camp prepared us for the competition, in which we were supposed to secure our IT assets through modern day implementation of firewalls and intrusion detection system. At the same time, we were supposed to penetrate our way through the network ran by the organisers and gain access to their systems. Before the competition, we prepared our tools and researched on the vulnerabilities of the servers provided in the competition. Our main strategy was to ensure that our systems were all secured before engaging in our penetration testing. Our efforts paid off as many teams who were ahead of us initially fell behind when their servers were compromised. We entered the competition without high expectations as we were joining to gain experience, and we were pleasantly surprised that we managed to receive the aforementioned awards,” said Khor Shi-Jie, on behalf of Team WeBreakStuff.