Team Havel’s Velvet Underground from Jagiellonian University Krakow Wins the 8th European Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge


Team Havel’s Velvet Underground from Jagiellonian University Krakow Wins the 8th European Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

Team Havel’s Velvet Underground from Jagiellonian University Krakow (Poland) is the winner of the 2022 “Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge”, co-organised by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the Atlantic Council.

This two-day virtual event ran from 21-22 April 2022. The competition welcomed record-breaking 30 teams, consisting of four students each. Our competitors were from a diverse range of countries varying from the Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and for the first time, we were pleased to welcome teams from Germany, Malawi, Poland, Serbia, and South Africa. 

Finalists included: 

  • Team Lémanners, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland (2nd place) 
  • Team CyOps Wiki, Stockholm University, Sweden (3rd place) 
  • Team Soteria, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (4th place) 

In its eighth year, the competition invited university students to tackle a simulated cyber incident in real time. This year, the challenge’s scenario was based on a cyber incident affecting critical infrastructures on the African continent. Teams were required to respond to ever-changing situations and offer strategic policy recommendations, from a European point of view to heads of state, government leaders, senior officials and representatives from the private sector.

Other awards included: 

  • Most Creative Response: Team Soteria, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Best Teamwork Award: QUB LINAS, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom 
  • Best Oral Presentation: Team APT070, Leiden University, Netherlands
  • Best Decision Document: Team CyOps wiki, Stockholm University, Sweden 

The judges featured prominent personalities in the field of cyber security and included:  

  1. Mr Mirzo Ulugbek Abdullaev, National Project Officer at the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan
  2. Mr Arnold Abraham, Principal Attorney at The CyberLaw Group
  3. Ms Audrey Adams, Cross-Cutting Priority Director at MITRE
  4. Dr Christopher Ankersen, Clinical Professor at NYU Center for Global Affairs
  5. Ms Sarah Backman, PhD Candiadate International Relations at Stockholm University
  6. Dr Xavier Bellekens, CEO at Lupovis
  7. Ms Clotile Bômont, PhD Candidate at GEODE
  8. Ms Francesca Bosco, Chief of Staff at CyberPeace Institute
  9. Ms Anne-Marie Buzatu, Vice President and COO at ICT4Peace Foundation
  10. Dr Enrico Calandro, Co-Director at Cybersecurity Capacity Centre for Southern Africa
  11. Mr Fabien Caparros, Strategy Department Chief of Staff at ANSSI
  12. Dr Rafik Chaabouni, Cyber Security Architect with the Swiss Armed Forces
  13. Dr Alix Desforges, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategy Directorate at GEODE
  14. Ms Clare El Azebbi, Head of Cyber Resilience Unit with the Scottish Government
  15. Dr Marika Ericson, Head of Centre for International and Operational Law the Swedish Defence University
  16. Mr Simone Fortin, CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) at MSC Cruises
  17. Dr Luca Gambazzi, CEO at Droid Factory LLC
  18. Mr Henri Haenni, CEO at Abilene Advisors
  19. Dr Andreas Haggman, Head of Cyber Advocacy with the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport
  20. Mr Janne Haldesten, EVP/CSO, Sectyne
  21. Mr Marc Henauer, Head of Unit at the National Cyber Security Center NCSC CH
  22. Mr Steve Hill, CISO for the Investment Bank and Americas at Credit Suisse
  23. Mr Alexis Hirschhorn, COO Head of Advisory Services at Abilene Advisors
  24. Mr Saldys Jusu-Sheriff, Managing Partner with Africa Risk Management and Compliance Partners
  25. Dr Martti Kari, Teacher (Strategic Intelligence, Cyber Security, Russian Studies) at University of Jyväskylä
  26. Dr Camino Kavanagh, Senior Fellow at King’s College London
  27. Ms Aglika Klayn, Cybercrime Specialist with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre
  28. Dr Elaine Korzak, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity with Middleburry Institute of International Studies at Monterery
  29. Prof. Stewart Kowalski, Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  30. Ms Moliehi Makumane, Researcher (Non-Resident) at UNIDIR
  31. Mr Nicolas Mayencourt, Founder & Global CEO at Dreamlab Technologies AG
  32. Mr Inge Oystein Moen, Senior Advisor at NTNU Center for Cyber & Information Security
  33. Prof. Simin Nadjm-Tehrani, Professor at Linköping University
  34. Dr Tim Nedyalkov, Technology Information Security Officer with Commonwealth Bank of Austrailia
  35. Dr Lars Nicander, Senior Advisor for the Swedish Defence University
  36. Ms Katie Nickels, Director of Intelligence at Red Canary
  37. Ms Dixie O'Donnell, Global Incident Manager at Google
  38. Ms Grethe Østby, PhD Candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  39. Ms Alexandra Paulus, Fellow for International Cybersecurity Policy at Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
  40. Ms Lennig Pedron, Executive Director at Trust Valley and iCON
  41. Mr Björn Persson, Owner/ Senior Lawyer at Advokatfirman Singularitylaw AB
  42. Mr Jody Prescott, Lecturer Environmental Studies & Computer Information Systems at the University of Vermont
  43. Dr David Rubens, Executive Director at the Institute of Strategic Risk Management
  44. Ms Limor Shmerling, Managing Director at the Israel Tech Policy Institute
  45. Ms Chelsey Slack, Deputy Head of Cyber Defence for NATO
  46. Dr Ashley Sweetman, Manager, Cyber Security Partnership for Standard Chartered Bank
  47. Ms Laura Temesi, Head of Cyber Partnerships at Standard Chartered bank
  48. Dr Eneken Tikk, Executive Producer at the Cyber Policy Institute
  49. Ms Cheryl Torano, Business Development Manager at Abertay University
  50. Ms Noëlle Van der Waag-Cowling, Cyber Program Leader/Security, Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA) at Stellenbosch University
  51. Dr Brett van Niekerk, Senior Lecturer Cybersecurity at Durban University of Technology
  52. Ms Yanya Viskovich, CEO for the Swiss Cyber Institute
  53. Mr Daniel Walther, CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), forThe Swatch Group Ltd
  54. Mr Paul Wang, CEO & Co-founder at ZeNPulsar
  55. Mr Nathanael Wettstein, Cyber Security Architect with the Swiss Armed Forces
  56. Mr Hugo Zylberberg, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategy Department with ANSSI 


One of the judges for the Semi-Finals, Francesca Bosco, Chief of Strategy at CyberPeace Institute, reflected on the competition by saying: “I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity to be a judge during this competition. Beyond the great overall learning experience into the state of cyber security via vibrant exchange across  all parties involved, from students to judges, the Cyber 9/12 has remarkable long term benefits: 1. It helps in building a diverse community of cyber professionals, from next-generation cyber professionals to leading and emerging experts 2. It reminds us all that cyber security threats are quite complex and must be tackled through a multi-disciplinary approach and team work, building bridges between tech and policy communities, and considering the real-life impact of policies on people.


Presiding over the awards ceremony and announcing the winner was Dr Trey Herr, Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, Mr Gazmend Huskaj, Head of Cyber Security at the GCSP, and Dr Robert Dewar, Director of the Geneva Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge. 


Listed below are the 30 teams that participated this year: 

  1. Team APT070, Leiden University, Netherlands
  2. Team Belgrade’s Cybercube, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  3. Team Cyber Soldiers, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  4. Team CyberPunkz, North West University, South Africa
  5. Team CyberQCL, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  6. Team CyberTechnophiles, University of Science and Technology, Malawi
  7. Team CyOps wiki, Stockholm University, Sweden
  8. Team ESC-APE, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  9. Team Fog and Friction, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  10. Team Global Bridge Builders, Maastricht University, Netherlands
  11. Team Guns N’ Rams, University of Public Service, Hungary
  12. Team Havel’s Velvet Underground, Jagiellonian University, Poland
  13. Team Hypertonica, Universität der Bundeswehr München
  14. Team International System Error, Stockholm University, Sweden
  15. Team L’Effet BX, Brussels School of Governance, Belgium
  16. Team Lémanners, EPFL, Switzerland
  17. Team MED – Mutual Encrypted Destruction, KU Leuven, Belgium
  18. Team NUKE them Cybertarians!, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
  19. Team QUB LINAS, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom
  20. Team SDSU Cyber Defence Team, San Diego State University, United States
  21. Team Soteria, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  22. Team Students of THUAS, The Hague University of Applied Science, Netherlands
  23. Team HiveMind, Tallin University of Technology & University of Public Service, Estonia & Hungary
  24. Team Sherlocks, Seton Hall University, United States
  25. Team Tech Phantom, Leiden University, Netherlands
  26. Team The Armadillos, US Coast Guard Academy, United States
  27. Team The Backpackers, The Hague University of Applied Science, Netherlands
  28. Team The Social Engineers, The Geneva Graduate Institute, Switzerland
  29. Team Unid3ntified, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  30. Team Ursa Major, Uppsala University, Sweden


"The 2022 Cyber 9/12 set a new record for many reasons: we had the highest number of participating teams and the most international cohort of teams and judges than in any previous Geneva competition. This was the first scenario to be set outside Europe and one of the most complex scenarios we have developed. All the teams did fantastic work to get their teeth into the simulated incident, address the many different and complex challenges we threw at them and work tirelessly (sometimes literally) to craft ingenious solutions. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. The GCSP looks forward to raising the bar even further next year" says Dr Robert Dewar, Director of the Geneva leg of the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge. 


The GCSP thanks all the sponsors the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the US Mission in Geneva, as well as the entire team who made this eighth edition of the European Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge a success. We look forward to welcoming many of you in 2023!


Screenshots of some teams during the 2022 competition:

Cyber 2022 - Students of THUAS

Team: Students of THUAS
Judges: Enrico Calandro, Nicolas Mayencourt, Brett van Niekerk, Eneken Tikk 

Team: CyOps Wiki

Team: CyOps Wiki
Judges: David Rubens, Grethe Østby, Anne-Marie Buzatu, Daniel Walther