17 Sep 2020

Cyber Taipan 2020

CyberTaipan is an Australian cyber security competition that is modelled on the US Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program.

The competition puts teams of high school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals, tasked with managing the network of a small company. Throughout several rounds of competition, teams are provided with a set of virtual images that represent operating systems. Over a six-hour period, each team is tasked with finding cyber security vulnerabilities within the images, receiving points for hardening the system while maintaining critical services. Teams compete for a chance to represent their school or community group in the National Finals.

COVID 19 has certainly not affected our talented CyberTaipan team. They have been working hard behind the scenes to compete at a national level against several other teams to take out the title of the Australian CyperTaipan. Liam said the first two rounds of the competition required the team to work together and find software, system, and user vulnerabilities and fix these problems within two separate six-hour events, round one and round two. Each team member had a specialisation as they worked together to decode and establish how they could make their project system stronger. Liam said the team had trained for the event with practice images and this was the key to their success.

The Cyber Team has now been invited to compete in the National Finals on the 24th of October. It is normally held at Canberra University but may be forced to go online this year. Regardless, it has been a fun and exciting way to learn. Rory said it has given him skills in problem-solving from an IT side. Lochie also said he gained experience in how to use system functions and settings that he had not used previously. Melonie Smith pointed out that this program has created an applied learning platform that we cannot create in a classroom. CyberTaipan has inspired these students to learn about new technology while developing teambuilding skills that will complement careers in this area and make them work-ready. This program was also supported by our own IT specialist Leigh Elgar who helped the team by increasing their awareness of known Malware and Viruses.

CyberTaipan is based on a proven framework for educating and inspiring high school students towards further education and careers in cyber security and other STEM subjects. CyberTaipan forms the Australian arm of a growing global Youth Cyber Defence Challenge Network that started in the United States as CyberPatriot and has since expanded to the United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

— Cyber Security Careers