Sheffield computing students crack codes for cyber challenge

Students try to crack code
Students try to crack code

Sheffield computing students a, re applying the latest hi-tech skills to problem solving, as part of a national cyber security challenge.

The group of 20 students, from UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, are competing in the Cyber Centurion competition, aimed at 12 to 18 year-olds interested in cyber defence, code breaking, puzzles and problem solving. Four teams of students are taking part in three qualifying rounds at the college, on Old Hall Road, which began in November and will finish in January. If the students score enough points from those three rounds, they will be invited to compete in the national final in London in March 2019.

In the competition, organised by Northrop Grumman in partnership with Cyber Security Challenge UK, students have to find vulnerabilities in a computer system and earn points as they progress. The vulnerabilities replicate real life scenarios that a person working in the cyber security field would encounter – preparing students for a career in the field.

Shaun Whorton, computer science teacher at UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, who used to work in the cybersecurity industry before going into education, is mentoring the students. He said: “Taking part in these competitions ensures our students develop the cutting edge technical as well as problem solving and teamwork skills that computing employers need.”

UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park equips students with the skills that employers need to prepare them for the latest careers in the computing industry.

Students are using the UTC’s latest high tech facilities, including its recently opened security operations centre, to prepare for the rounds.