Twice was the charm for the Geneva School of Diplomacy’s “Team STUXNET”, winners of the 2017 “Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge” co-hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the Atlantic Council.
The two-day event, which ran from 20-21 April at the GCSP in the Maison de la paix, welcomed 24 teams from Europe, North America and Asia. Finalists included: Team “Finland” from Jyväskylä University in Finland (4th Place); “Crisis Management Group (CCMG)” from Swedish Defence University in Sweden (3rd Place); and Team “Keep Calm and Cyber On” from Air University in the United States (2nd Place).
Already in its third year, the competition invited university students to tackle a simulated cyber incident in real time. This year the challenge involved an evolving ransomware event and its critical impact on healthcare systems across several nations. Teams were required to respond to ever-changing situations and offer strategic policy recommendations for government leaders and senior officials.
“Throughout the competition, judges encouraged teams to use creativity to think outside of the box. What made the event even more challenging is what happens when you have to throw the whole box away and start fresh,” said members of Team STUXNET after hearing their names called as winners of the competition.
The judges featured prominent personalities in the field of cybersecurity and included Amb Sorin Ducaru, Assistant Secretary General of the Emerging Security Challenges Division at NATO; Mr Jan Neutze, Director of Cybersecurity Policy at Microsoft; and Mr Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General of the European Cyber Security Organization.
“It was an amazing competition,” said judge Rami Efrati, Founder and President of Firmitas, a cyber security consulting firm in Israel. “The participants were very talented people dealing with cyber policy and regulations. They are the future of the cyber security.”
Participating universities included: Oxford University (UK); Delfth University of Technology (Netherlands); Science Po (France); University of Lausanne (Switzerland); The Graduate Institute (Switzerland); the United States Military Academy at West Point; and Yenching Academy of Peking University (China). Team STUXNET follows in the steps of last year’s winner - King’s College London.
The Naval War College finished in first place during the Atlantic Council’s portion of the competition in the United States on 17-18 March 2017. After the European leg ends in Geneva, the final edition of this year’s competition will take place in Sydney, Australia on 27-28 September 2017.
Watch an interview with the winning team: