What a hack: cyber security success for Griffith

The Griffith Uni team accept their award. Picture: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Griffith University students have proven they can hack it with the country’s best in this year’s Cyber Security Challenge.

Gold Coast based Bachelor of Computer Science students Lachlan Ashcroft, Lee Goymer, Thomas Csere and Christopher Skorka were the top-ranked first year team in Australia, placing them fourth overall.

The hacking competition is run by an alliance of Australian Government, business and academic professionals and aims to unearth future talent in the cyber-security sphere.

Griffith’s Cyber Security Challenge team in action.

The Griffith University team spent the competition’s designated 24 hours in an otherwise empty room on campus, surviving on just two hours sleep as they tried to fend off cyber attacks.

“I wouldn’t say it was stressful, but it was difficult,” said Thomas Csere. “We each played to our strengths on the various challenges.”

For team captain Lachlan Ashcroft, it was a chance to gain first-hand experience of a potential career path.

“We all wanted to be involved in this because we feel it’s a very interesting topic, especially into the future.”

Despite their hard work and sleepless night, their success was still a surprise for the students.

“We weren’t sure how we were going compared to other first year teams,” said Lee Goymer.

“At the end, when we realised we were at the top, that was a real shock. We were really happy that we did so well.”

According the Christopher Skorka, the competition consisted of a number of different tasks that involved a lot of networking and website security.

The team flew to Melbourne for the Cyber Security Challenge Australia awards ceremony on June 28. Their efforts also earned them an all-expenses paid trip to the Ruxcon Security Conference in October.