BT Tower hosts simulated cyber-attack

News by SC Staff

The London BT Tower, probably the most high profile communications target in the UK, whose public gallery was closed to avoid terrorist attack, was the venue for a simulated cyber-terrorist strike on Saturday, testing the ability of amateur contestants to win back control of a large building's power supply from hackers.

The cyber-attack simulation mimicked sophisticated cyber-crime groups using Heartbleed and Shellshock type cyber-attacks. Defence efforts using crime-fighting tools ranging from cryptography to advanced penetration testing packages such as Kali-Linux, were assessed by experts from organisers Raytheon UK, as well as GCHQ, the National Crime Agency, BT, C3IA and Airbus Group

The online battle formed part of the Government-backed Cyber Security Challenge UK.

Paul Crichard, Raytheon UK head of cyber research, commented to press: “We designed this contest to mimic the high-pressure emergency situations that real-world professionals have to deal with, and show gifted people who may just enjoy code-breaking or reverse engineering as a hobby, that their talents are actually vital to the UK economy.”  Raytheon recently launched a new cyber innovation competition aimed at UK SMEs with £100,000 of prizes.

Stephanie Daman, CEO at the Cyber Security Challenge UK, added: “The recent Carbanak attack ... show(s) that the economic cost of cyber-crime is continually rising. The industry is dedicated to finding new ways to address the critical talent shortage across Britain, as we see rising cyber-crime posing a threat to UK assets and even critical infrastructure.”

The day's winning team comprised Adam Tonks, a Bournemouth University student; Darren Brooke, an IT consultant, from Pontypridd; Robert Laverick, who runs a software development consultancy in Redcar; and Steve Haughton, a network manager from Cardiff.

Next month finalists from all four of the Challenge's competitions take part in the Challenge's grand finale, described as the UK's largest ever simulated cyber-attack. The event will be hosted by a consortium comprising of BT, GCHQ, the National Crime Agency, Airbus Group and Lockheed Martin.

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