Code breakers of tomorrow
THE University of Bristol is taking part in a unique code-breaking competition as part of this year's Cyber Security Challenge UK.
Four UK University Computer Science departments have accepted the challenge to develop their own cipher – a puzzle based on encrypted messages – that will be released to other participating universities to be cracked.
The four-week virtual tournament will start today with a cipher from Bristol University and a new cipher will be released each week. The challenge is designed to inspire students who are particularly interested in entering cyber security careers.
Stephanie Daman, chief executive of Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: "The University Cipher Challenge is something completely new. This is the first time that universities have been asked to develop their own cipher, putting the skills of their students in competition with those from a rival.
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"The UK has a world-class academic base in cyber security and this tournament represents a great opportunity for existing candidates and new players to test the hard, code breaking skills and out-the-box thinking that the cyber security profession requires."
Nigel Smart, professor of cryptology at the University of Bristol, said: "Cyber security challenges are a great way of getting people to notice that cyber security is a really important area.
"Indeed it is going to be one of the growth areas in the coming decade and we need to encourage as many as possible to consider this as a possible career path. Not only from the technical, computer science side, but we also need mathematicians, sociologists, psychologists, lawyers and public policy experts to consider the great challenges we are going to face as the century progresses."