Cyber Camp 2012


Some of the UK's most talented young cyber security enthusiasts were selected for an intensive five-day cyber camp at Lancaster University. The Cyber Security Challenge UK gave talented amateurs a priceless opportunity to learn about cyber defence from seasoned professionals and was the first event of its kind.

22 candidates spent an extended weekend facing a series of security exercises developed by experts from KPMG, Raytheon, Metropolitan Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU), Micro Systemation and Lancaster University. Candidates also received advice on interview techniques and CV writing in order to improve their chances of landing a job in cyber security.


Day 1: Informed Defence

Informed defence is about understanding defence methodologies through the eyes of an attacker. The delegates were split into two teams to compete in a simulated attack and defend scenario of a virtual nuclear power station. The nuclear power station challenge was provided by KPMG and Allan Tomlinson from Royal Holloway University of London provided a lecture on information risk management.

After a couple of introductory welcomes to Lancaster University, Security Lancaster and the Challenge, the camp started with a team based network Penetration Testing Challenge run by KPMG. Attendees were split into Red and Blue teams to take each other on in a simulated attack and defend scenario using virtual nuclear power stations. The winning team was the first that managed to send the opponents power station into meltdown. This was followed by a Royal Holloway University of London briefing on the 'Informed' part of informed defence which considered topics including, how to respond to threats and newly discovered vulnerabilities.

HP sponsored the evening, where they provided the after dinner talk on how they are encouraging innovation. KPMG presented the winning team award and debriefed the teams on what they could have done and their performance.

Day 2: Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship

This day tested the attendees' ability to think creatively about a cyber security business problem and develop a business proposal all in a day. Dr Daniel Prince from Security Lancaster briefed the delegates on developing and taking forward cyber security ideas, understanding more about the business aspects, not just the technical. Here the challenge for the attendees was to think about the business model rather than the technology. At the end of the day the teams pitched their ideas back to a group of dragons selected from Lancaster University, Raytheon and the Venture Capital community.

Different teams were created and given a selection of topical cyber security themes, such as Bring Your Own Device and Insider Threat, with the aim that these teams would develop value propositions for presentation later that day. The teams had access to business mentors who provided advice and guidance throughout the day. Ultra Electronics provided an insight into their LEAP initiative, which consideres Innovation and Creativity from a people and business perspective.

The evening dinner hosted a Dragon's Den sponsored by Raytheon where the teams pitched their ideas that they had been working on. The Dragons from Raytheon, Lancaster University and Ultimate, then discussed the different propositions and picked a winning team based on the commercial viability of the proposals. The evening was rounded off by a representative of the Land Information Assurance Group (LIAG) - Territorial Army Cyber Specialists, presenting what life is like as part of their unit.

Day 3: Digital Forensics

Attacking and defending is one part of cyber security. If you want to be a specialist in the area you need to understand how to recover evidence in order to support an on-going investigation. Security Lancaster, PCEU and Micro Systemation designed an investigation around mobile phone forensics.

In the morning, the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) walked through an example of a real world investigation where digital forensics of seized evidence was essential to the investigation and potential prosecution. In the afternoon Micro Systemation, a leader in mobile digital forensics and Security Lancaster ran a team based, digital forensics investigation technical challenge. This, in addition to the work from the morning, was used as a basis for a court room scenario where team members acted as expert witnesses.

The evening was sponsored by Ultra Electronics and included a key note talk from Ultra Electronics and the top two video recordings from our cyber camp court room.

Day 4: The Future of Cyber Security

Being able to think about future threats and opportunities in cyber security is a vital skill for a cyber security specialist. This day saw the attendees develop a future 2020 cyber disaster with the added pressure of doing it in under 2 hours and having to present their concepts in an innovative way. They were not allowed to do a standard powerpoint presentation, so they had to use all their ingenuity and came up with fake news reports and video mashups.

Day 4's topic took a look at what Cyber Security will mean in the future. Security Lancaster ran an interactive session exploring what could happen in the future and what pre-emptive steps we could/should take to offset them.

The teams were tasked with thinking about a cyber disaster in 2020 and presenting it in a novel way. No power point presentation, instead mash-ups and fake news reports! The winning team was picked by Security Lancaster staff.

Lunch provided everyone with the opportunity to reflect on their personal experiences of the Camp and was sponsored by QinetiQ, who described their week 'back at the office'; demonstrating to the candidates that their experiences at the camp were based on real world activities and representative of the Cyber Security profession. Everyone benefitted from the Camp and returned home more informed and better prepared for a career in Cyber Security.Importantly 8 attendees were selected to go through to Master Class based on an observation of individual perfomances throughout their time at the camp.


Brought to you in partnership with Security Lancaster and Cyber Security Challenge UK