MWR Launches Annual HackFu Event with Competition to Find Elite Contestants

11 March 2016

Launching this year’s campaign for HackFu, its annual cyber security event, MWR InfoSecurity is once again throwing down the gauntlet to security enthusiasts with the HackFu Challenge.

Starting today, contenders are invited to compete for a coveted place at the immersive event, which will take place at an as-yet undisclosed UK location in June. As is characteristic of HackFu, key details of the event itself are shrouded in secrecy - but with previous years seeing contestants locked up in a spoof prison or a working Wild West town in the name of cyber security, winning contestants are guaranteed a once-in-a lifetime experience.

For those new to HackFu, the two-day event consists of a series of story-driven challenges designed to test contenders’ hacking, scripting, tinkering, lock-picking, crypto and problem-solving skills to the extreme. 

In advance of HackFu 2016, MWR invites those who possess technical dexterity combined with creativity to download and complete its compilation of pre-event challenges. Contenders who show superior skill will be invited to participate in this year’s HackFu, either onsite at the secret venue or remotely, in a new feature being introduced for this year’s event.

Martyn Ruks, Technical Director at MWR confirms, “Not for the faint hearted, HackFu sees security pros and enthusiasts thrown together with actors to solve puzzles and play out a live storyline. This year is our ninth competition which will be our most ambitious and, dare I say, challenging yet. From start to finish, skills will be tested, fun will be had and nothing will be as it initially seems.”

The primary purpose of MWR’s HackFu is to set a standard in developing cyber security skills in the UK and beyond, and to use any interest generated in the event to draw attention to the cyber skills gap. There is a vast array of roles that exist in this exciting and dynamic sector beyond pen testing and this event is designed to illustrate the techniques and capabilities needed to excel in cyber security. By capturing the public’s imagination, MWR believes the industry can not only raise awareness of the skills gap it faces, but also emphasise the opportunities the sector offers to those with the right aptitude.

Martyn expands, “HackFu was originally conceived to test and improve current cyber security and team-work skills, in a way that allows exploration into technical areas outside an individual’s comfort zone, inspiring participant teams to come up with creative solutions to difficult problems. After all, this is what’s needed to combat the complex threats organisations face on a daily basis. We purposefully design some elements of the competition to encourage users to think laterally, as it’s not just about technical ability - but also the mental capacity, to challenge what’s perceived as normal to discover what’s actually possible.”

Over the coming months MWR will be releasing additional information of its HackFu blueprint to help other organisations plan and execute similar events. It hopes, by inviting others to learn from this experience of running the event, that the cyber security skills shortage can not only be highlighted but new talent from complimentary disciplines encouraged to join the cyber security taskforce. 

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