American Idol, Hack Idol. Both are fierce competitions, except only one requires more talent than singing lessons can provide. In the UK, computer science students compete for the title of “Hack Idol,” an honor that is granted in the UK Cyber Security challenge that goes on for months.
According to The Register, the competition, hosted by HP Labs of Bristol, consists of simulated cyber, DDoS, and spam attacks, among other “hack” challenges. Teams then try to combat said challenges with their computer know-how and whoever captures the judge’s eye as far as skill gets the prize and title of “Hack Idol.”
This year’s winner for the 2nd of many contests was 19-year-old Jonathan Millican.
Millican’s expertise landed him a sponsorship for a Masters degree at Royal Holloway University of London.
“We want train and recruit more cyber security experts because there's a real need in the workplace,” said Judy Baker, director of the Cyber Security Challenge. The plan is to host the event again next year that will put professionals up against students.
The cyber defense faces high-profile attacks; last week saw the arrest of six men, of which two were from UK, who were accused of computer hacking, thus affecting one million people. The attack was prompted by the Anonymous hacking group.
A 27-year-old British man who says he is affiliated with the international cybercrime group Anonymous has pleaded guilty to hacking into, defacing, and stealing records from the website of an abortion provider.
According to AFP reports, James Jeffery, a resident of Wednesbury, West Midlands, was arrested Friday after breaking into the website of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), swiping the records of approximately 10,000 women who had registered with the website, and replacing the organization’s logo with the Anonymous symbol.
The Associated Press said that Jeffery appeared in a London court on Saturday to admit two offenses under the Computer Misuse Act. He reportedly targeted the BPAS website because his sister had terminated her pregnancy, and he was upset with her decision. AFP reporters said that he later bragged about his actions on Twitter (News - Alert), and published the details of the hack.
Member of Anonymous have been pretty active lately, doing their usual and hacking sites that include security firms Panda Security and Symantec and website of the Vatican.
Edited by Jennifer Russell