The 2016 European Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge

The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, in partnership with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), hosted the second annual European Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge in Geneva, Switzerland on April 7-8, 2016. The competition brought together 150 students representing twenty-eight teams of bachelors, masters, and PhD students from eleven different countries across Europe, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The students represented thirty different university or military college affiliations and were judged by panels of experts in the field of cybersecurity. The winning team came from King’s College London, with US Naval Academy finishing in second place and Geneva School of Diplomacy in third.  

Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, the competition challenged students to respond to a major cyberattack impacting countries across Europe and analyze the threat it posed to national, international, and private sector interests. Additionally, the event featured various side events, including career panels, speeches, and presentations, and offered the students a unique opportunity to network with expert professionals while allowing sponsors to scope out the future talent of the world’s next leaders in cybersecurity.

The judges included senior representatives from organizations such as NATO, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), European governments, and the private sector, including Suleyman Anil, Head of NATO’s Cyber Defense Section; Martin Dion, Vice President of Kudelski Group; Stefanie Frey, Coordinator of National Cyber Strategy at the Swiss Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance; Nigel Hickson, Vice President at ICANN; and Carla Licciardello; Cyber Security Expert at ITU.

The winning team took home a grand prize of 1,000 Euros along with an opportunity for a research grant with Kudelski Security and job interviews with F-Secure’s global offices. The event was supported by F-Secure Labs, Kudelski Security, Symantec, Synopsys, FireEye, Silent Circle, and The Hewlett Foundation.

Winners are detailed below:

First Place – Team Sapienter, King’s College London, United Kingdom
Second Place – US Naval Academy, United States
Third Place – Stuxnet, Geneva School of Diplomacy, Switzerland
Fourth Place – Team Honeypots, King’s College London, United Kingdom

Best Oral Presentation- Fightin’ Electrons, Air University, United States
Best Decision Document – UNIL Swiss Team, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Best Teamwork – King’s Cyber Guard, King’s College London
Best Written Submission – Team Honeypots, King’s College London, United Kingdom
Most Creative Policy Alternative – SEET, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland

We want to say thank you to all of our judges for the great advice, mentorship, and feedback that they provided. Thank you to our sponsors for supporting the competition. And a special thank you to all of the coaches and competitors for all of their hard work and fantastic presentations. Dates for the 2017 competition to be revealed soon!

Image: The 2016 Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge in Geneva, Switzerland.