A tech support officer from the University of Huddersfield has been crowned the top civilian in the 2013 Cyber Security Challenge’s DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge.
Designed by the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Centre, the Digital Forensics Challenge is a team competition but winner Glyn Snowden entered on his own and was second only to a group of four from Northrop Grumman, making him the highest-ranked civilian in the competition.
The competition requires participants to develop their own tools and scripts, and he completed all of the challenges using only Microsoft Word, open source, freeware and demo software. The exercises required entrants to submit answers and accompanying methodologies to solve puzzles, ranging from image geo tagging analysis, data obfuscation, password recovery, file encryption and advanced steganography.
Snowden has entered this challenge twice before and he competed in the Cyber Security Challenge 2013 Masterclass, which was led by HP and Cassidian. “The only part of my role that requires these skills is when the university staff and students come to me with malware on their computers. I’m able to use the skills I’ve acquired to remove malicious programmes and make their systems more secure,” he said.
“I receive great satisfaction from solving the puzzles involved in analysing, recovering and identifying the artifacts in cyber security. I’ve always been interested in cyber security and now that the internet is such a huge part of our daily lives I believe that it’s important for everyone to understand what it means to be safe online.”
Glyn receives a place on a career-enabling 7Safe university-accredited training course in Application Security Testing worth over £2,000. The three-day course involves learning how to identify security vulnerabilities in web applications such as web-based email and shopping websites.
Stephanie Daman, CEO, Cyber Security Challenge UK said: “It is fantastic to see a UK candidate scoring so highly again and Glyn’s success is remarkable when you consider that he was up against teams of military security professionals.
“The DC3 competition challenges the best of the best and we’re encouraged that there were so many UK entrants this year, reflecting the wealth of untapped cyber talent we have here. Competitions such as DC3 and the Cyber Security Challenge mirror real-life cyber security breaches and are important in giving amateurs a safe environment to test their skills.”
Richard Allen, Education Business Development Manager at 7Safe a PA Group company, said “With cyber attacks increasing in number and severity we’re pleased to be involved in an initiative that is actively encouraging new talent into the sector. For people with natural ability such as Glyn, gaining industry-recognised qualifications is the next step to a career in this exciting profession.”