Brit is runner-up in US Department of Defense challenge
Brit is runner-up in US Department of Defense challenge

A software developer has been named as the number one civilian in the world after winning a US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center challenge.

After independently beating over 1,200 cyber teams from 53 countries in the US Military Cyber Security Competition to finish as the number one civilian in the world, Chris Doman will receive training courses from 7Safe and will have the chance to compete for career-enabling prizes as part of the Cyber Security Challenge UK.

He finished second overall in the 2012 DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge, a global cyber security challenge designed and hosted by the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Centre (DC3). First place was taken by a team of professionals from American global aerospace and defence technology company, Northrop Grumman.

The challenge took the form of several individual scenario-based exercises representing the complexity that digital forensics examiners face in extracting and scrutinising data to solve cyber crime. Areas covered included file signatures, hashing metadata, data hiding, communication data recovery and information concealment.

Doman said: “It's a year-long competition, but I only decided to enter a month before it closed so time was a bit of an issue. I looked through all 34 challenges and wrote a plan of how to do them all and how long it would take. It's all certainly possible to solve but it's not easy and you have to think carefully about the time required for each challenge.

“Security has always been an interest. At school I would publish computer security and operating system design tutorials. However setting up my own company left me with less time to pursue this interest. The Cyber Security Challenge has certainly reignited my love for cyber security and problem solving. I did better than I expected, and it's given me a boost to start applying for work in this field.”

Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge UK said: “Chris' success in this global competition and the performance of UK competitors more generally is a powerful demonstration of the level of amateur talent we have here in the UK.

“Unfortunately for a profession like cyber security where employers are desperate to find new talent, Chris' story of an early interest in the subject that wasn't pursued in later life, is worryingly familiar. Without the opportunities provided by the competitions like the DC3 Digital Forensics and the Cyber Security Challenge UK, Chris and many others like him will be lost to the profession completely despite their undoubted ability.”

Jim Christy, director of Futures Exploration at the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, said: “This year's DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge saw the highest ever number of players and submissions, and a significant increase in the standard of the competition. All this makes Chris' achievement, finishing second as an individual and beating teams of professionals from some of the largest companies in the world, and government's cyber workforces all the more remarkable.”

Doman will next face the Cyber Security Challenge's Sophos Malware Hunt in January, where he will be among 30 talented amateurs taking on the role of forensics and defence specialists working for the UK Government and facing the nastiest creations of both cyber criminal gangs and nation states.

Chris will be joined at the Malware Hunt by Matt Bartlett and Chris Moore, who finished ninth and 12th overall in the DC3 competition.

The new 2013 DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge will open from 17th December, for more information visit the website: http://www.dc3.mil/challenge/2012/