The eighth international Cyberlympics hacking competition was held in Canada on 26 and 27 October. The European cybersecurity company Nixu participated in the competition first time already in 2013. In 2018, Nixu came second. This year, Nixu took fourth place.
Global ethical hacking competition
Cyberlympics is an international ethical hacking championship arranged by the EC-Council Foundation. Established in 2012, the Foundation aims to increase cyber-awareness and international collaboration between cybersecurity professionals.
The teams faced each other in a range of challenges designed to gauge their expertise in areas such as digital forensics and web application and system exploitation. The first stage in the competition is a 12-hour qualification round - This year, 141 teams around the world participated. The two highest-scoring teams from each continent are then invited to attend the finals.
The first challenge required brute force
This year, the final focused on identifying vulnerabilities in network servers, while the qualification round included challenges in a variety of areas. Nixu’s team was surprised to see that the initial challenge in the finals required a brute force approach: cracking a password by simply trying out multiple alternatives.
“For the initial challenge, we were given a USB stick and we had to crack the password to a LUKS-encrypted partition. We thought it couldn’t possibly be a brute force challenge because it seemed too easy. We were wrong, and we put ourselves at a disadvantage in the beginning of the competition,” says Juho Jauhiainen, cybersecurity consultant at Nixu.
“The event was well organized. We had a top-notch team with a suitable mix of expertise in different areas. We bonded well as a team during the trip.”
Hacking events enhance the expertise of cybersecurity professionals
Developing employees’ competences and recruiting new experts are key factors in Nixu’s growth strategy. Hacking events provide a great way to offer Nixu’s experts the opportunity to learn new things and network with the international cybersecurity community.
“These hacking events are a good mix of competition and learning,” says Pietari Sarjakivi, the Director of Managed Security Services at Nixu, who has been a member of Nixu’s Cyberlympics team several times. “The event has developed, the game platform has become more professional every year, and the technology is more reliable.”
Participation in Capture the Flag competitions has become established practice at Nixu. Sarjakivi sees this as a very positive thing.
“Competition makes for an enjoyable hobby, but it is also an opportunity to learn stress-tolerance skills and cooperation. The CTF’s have led to Nixu developing its own hacking competition. The Nixu Challenge is an online CTF that changes once a year. Nixu Challenge aims to increase cybersecurity expertise in the community and to attract future talent. Of course, it also offers us a unique recruitment channel, and it has provided us with excellent employees.”
Pietari Sarjakivi, Director of Managed Security Services, Nixu Corporation
tel. +358 40 032 9666 email: Pietari.Sarjakivi@nixu.com
Nixu Challenge homepage: https://thenixuchallenge.com
Further information on Cyberlympics: https://www.cyberlympics.org/
Nixu in Brief:
Nixu is a cybersecurity services company on a mission to keep the digital society running. Our passion is to help organizations embrace digitalization securely. Partnering with our clients we provide practical solutions for ensuring business continuity, an easy access to digital services and data protection. We aim to provide the best workplace to our team of about 400 cybersecurity professionals with a hands-on attitude. With Nordic roots we serve enterprise clients worldwide. Nixu shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.