The first 11 finalists for the UK Cyber Security Challenge have been confirmed.
A live malware test was completed at Sophos's headquarters in Abingdon, with 11 of the 30 entrants making it through to the Masterclass Final, due to be held in Bristol in March.
Competitors were tested on their analytical mind, attention to detail and ability to identify and resolve malicious code. Judy Baker, director of the Cyber Security Challenge, said: “We have been extremely impressed with the level of talent in this competition.
“It's clear the UK has very skilled individuals in the field of cyberspace, but many are unaware they have such abilities and know little about the exciting job opportunities available. We have noticed throughout the challenge how surprised competitors are when they find out how well they have done.”
Finishing in first place was software engineer Tim Pullen, who said that he had always been interested in this area, and signing up for the Challenge was only for a bit of fun and an opportunity to learn a bit more about what the professionals do for a living. “I can't wait to see what the Challenge throws at us next,” he said.
The winners have all made it through to the HP- and Cassidian-run Masterclass, which requires candidates to take the skills demonstrated in previous rounds and apply them in an ultra-realistic business setting.
All finalists will receive a year's subscription to the National Skills Academy for IT.