This week, a team of students from the University of New South Wales took out a 24-hour hacking competition run by the federal government and Telstra. The prize? A trip to Black Hat 2012 in Las Vegas, a conference about all things hacker.
As ZDNet explains, 15 unis competed in the competition, called the "Cyber Defence University Challenge", with UNSW coming out on top, WA's Edith Cowan University second and Australian National University in Canberra taking third. The runners-up didn't leave empty-handed, pocketing iPads and 4G phones, respectively.
The challenge itself involved a "fictitious Australian business" the teams had to poke for security holes, with points awarded for accomplishing tasks including "bypassing authentication controls", "performing forensic analysis of an oddly behaving workstation" and "creating a socially engineered email", according to Telstra's page on the competition . It wasn't all play however — the teams also had to come up with reports detailing how the imaginary company could shore up its defences.
The competition was initiated as an "answer to a lack of cybersecurity awareness, especially in universities", writes ZDNet an issue identified earlier by the government as part of a consultation on cyber security.