ERR News: Cyber battle of region’s best young ethical hackers to take place in Tartu

This Saturday, the Telia Cyber Battle of Nordic-Baltics 2023 takes place in Tartu. The event sees young, ethical hackers compete against each to determine who has the best skills to fight against cyber criminals. It also aims to raise awareness among young people and educational institutions in the region about cyber security.

Saturday’s cyber battle will bring together teams of 15-24 year olds from Estonia Latvia, Lithuania, the Nordic countries, Belgium, Italy and the United States to battle it out online throughout a packed day at the University of Tartu Sports Hall.

The goal is to teach the fundamentals of cyber security in a practical, realistic, and ethical manner in order to improve the required skills among participants and thus contribute to increasing stability and security in the region.

Ethical hacking is the practice of testing a computer system, network or application in order to find security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by criminal hackers. Ethical hackers use the same tools and techniques as criminal hackers, but they do so with permission from the owner of the system being tested. Therefore, the teams are required to solve a range of tasks and puzzles, all based on potential real-life crises and situations including digital intrusion, detection and prevention, virus and malware analysis, cyber-attack resolution and decryption.

According to Kätlin Koemets, head of CTF Tech, the main organizer of the competition, interest in the cyber battle format, which was developed in Estonia four years ago, has been growing ever since

“In today’s increasingly digital world, there is a shortage of around 3 million cyber specialists, who are needed, among other things, to protect state and local authorities, critical service providers, businesses, homes, as well as billions of people from increasingly severe cyber-attacks,” said Koemets.

“It is predicted that by 2035 there will be over 45 billion devices connected to the Internet, making the demand for ethical hackers even more critical. This is why competitions like this for young people are seen as a platform to win over boys and girls to the so-called ‘good side,’ where they can prevent and deter these attacks.”

According to a press release, the Telia Cyber Battle of Nordic-Baltics 2023 at the University of Tartu Sports Hall is open to all spectators free of charge and can also be viewed live on the Telia Inspira channel. The event begins at 10 a.m.

In addition to the cyber battle, there will be an entertainment area open to the public, hosted by Kristel Aaslaid (Gram-of-Fun), who will also perform live, along with rapper Villemdrillem.

The entertainment area features the Ahhaa Science Theater, a robot cage created especially for the event, plus the opportunity to try out WRC rally simulators and a games demo room for real gamers.

The Telia Cyber Battle of Nordic-Baltics 2023 is organized by Estonian cyber education startup CTF Tech and NATO-accredited Estonian cyber defense company CybExer Technologies. The competition is organized in cooperation with Telia, Tartu City Government, the University of Tartu and several private sector companies.

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Editor: Michael Cole
Photo: Computer keyboard, Source: Priit Mürk/ERR