Over the weekend 6 of our students competed in the National Finals for the first ever Cyber Taipan competition to be held in Australia. Our team, ‘Steve the Happy Rock’ (please ask them to explain this), had 4 hours to identify cyber security vulnerabilities in a set of virtual images that represented operating systems. They were scored on their ability to harden the systems while maintaining critical services. Their inclusion in the final 10 teams was based upon their performance in previous similar rounds. It is worth mentioning that 2 other Canberran teams made the Finals from Melba Copland and Lake G.
The team got off to a good start, pulling into the lead early in the first half of the competition. When they stopped for lunch, they were in 2nd place by only 6 points (167 to 161).
The second half of the competition was blind, with the scores and rankings being hidden to build suspense. Later that evening, we reconvened (except for Roan) for a dinner and awards ceremony at Parliament House. Here, we finally discovered the outcome of the competition, discovering that Steve the Happy Rock had finished in 2nd place overall. The winning team was TSS (The Southport School) who had travelled in from the Gold Coast.
After dinner, the students were able to mingle and were approached by many people, including representatives from the organising and sponsoring companies (Northrop Grumman, AustCyber, PWC, Blackberry and Woodside Energy). One of our students, Richard Fowler, was particularly well-spoken in his interactions with the representatives, with the representative from Woodside Energy stopping at the end of the evening to indicate that Richard had “great ideas”. AustCyber was also impressed with our students and has invited them to get in contact for linking up with further opportunities, including potential work experience placements later this year. CIT has also given them an invite to tour the new Cyber facilities at the Reid campus where the competition was held.
Congratulations to Richard Fowler, Jeremy Green, Jayden Ahadizad, Roan Atkinson, Tim Herrmann and Saksit Wilamat on their awesome success. They have received a trophy, which will hopefully find its way to be displayed sometime soon. They also each individually received prizes that include vouchers for further training through PentesterLab.