Waikato students take out the grand prize for the NZ Cyber Security Challenge

16 July 2018

Grand prize winners Elliptic Curveballs.

Hundreds of aspiring cyber-crime fighters tackled a range of increasingly tough tasks, hacking drones and saving the planet during the 2018 NZ Cyber Security Challenge.

The youngest participant was 12 years old, with others travelling from round the country and overseas to take part. Director of the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science Associate Professor Ryan Ko says the event was very successful and they managed to breakthrough a few barriers with new elements like the Women in Cyber Security Workshop. “The standard of competitors keeps getting higher, but we’re also creating more challenging tasks. It speaks well for the future cyber security landscape, and the University of Waikato.”

The Grand Challenge winners were the Elliptic Curveballs: Jacob Cheatley, Michael Jang and Logan Krippner - all University of Waikato computer science students. While some practice was involved, they put their success down to keeping motivated through the stages, and pure perseverance. The prize was also a windfall - Jacob says his savings are going to get a boost, Logan’s checking out fancy computer screens, and Michael is just happy to have won first place.

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