Time flies when you’re having fun. CyberHeroes week was officially completed on March 23rd, 2019. What an incredible experience that it was!
We started the week with insightful lectures – one on the History of Cryptography done by the PGP creator, Philip Zimmermann, and another done by KPN Chief Information Security Office Strategy and Policy team lead Oscar Koeroo on RSA encryption. We also hosted some lock-picking challenges at Cyberworkplace, exposing that the security technology we currently have is outdated and in desperate need of an update.
On Day 2 of CyberHeroes week, participants competed in a Capture the Flag (CTF) challenge and had a lecture on what does it take to be a good CTF player, along with a demo on password cracking from Melanie Rieback, CEO and Co-founder of Radically Open Security. Participants ended the day with a sight-seeing trip around Rotterdam.
Day 3 was a digital-forensics themed day. Participants got to visit the Seaport Police premises and even ride on a police patrol boat to get a truly immersive experience. Students had to tackle CSI-style challenges and later discussed their results. Finally, Floor Jansen, co-founder of Hack_Right and Strategic Adviser from Team High Tech Crime and Digital Forensics Expert Marinus Boekelo, presented on a real case.
On Day 4 CyberHeroes week, participants got to learn to program smart devices (including a motion sensor, smart switch, lights, and a smart button) to perform a various range of effects together with Maarten van Duivenbode. This exposed our CyberHeroes to both the benefits and potential security risks smart devices might pose. Next, participants headed over to The Hague where they were welcomed at Cybersprint by its CISO and Product Owner, Cynthia Schouten, who gave a presentation and a tour at the HSD Campus where they visited the IoT lab of Leiden University and Splendo. Soufian El Yadmani, a Security Analyst at Cybersprint, also presented on how individuals with cyber-skills can maximize their opportunities. Following this, Peter van Eijk from the Municipality of The Hague also enlightened our students on the work the Municipality does with cybersecurity companies and ethical hackers to stay in control of its online footprint. The day ended with a wonderful reception at the residence of the US Ambassador.
On the next day, our CyberHeroes headed off to Hacklab in Leeuwarden, where they stayed in a prison-turned-hostel and participated in another CTF challenge. Participants also got to go sightseeing in the city.
To finish the entire program, a closing ceremony was held at Hacklab. CyberHeroes was everything we hoped it would be and more. We are so proud and thankful for everyone who worked to make this week a possibility: our staff, volunteers, sponsors, our participants. CyberHeroes could not have happened without the dedication of a team of people working together to make it a reality.