43 university students feted at CA cybersecurity contest for showcasing problem solving skills

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has recognized 43 students from 10 universities for exceptional skills at the Cyber Security Hackathon held at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. 

The winners were selected through a rigorous judging criteria dubbed ‘Capture the flag’ challenge, a cyber-security competition where participants solved computer security problems by hacking into or defending computer systems. 

(TOP: The CA Hackathon Group during the challenge).

The challenge was in two categories, the Ethical hacking and the Digital forensics. In the Ethical hacking category, Strathmore University emerged winners followed by KCA University and Meru University of Science and technology. In the Digital Forensics category, the University of Nairobi was declared the best followed by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in the second position. Another team from the UoN emerged third. 

Participants were also drawn from the Presidential Digital Talent Program, Kisii University, Kenyatta University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) and the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM). 

CA acting Director General Mercy Wanjau said the Authority is undertaking various cyber security initiatives towards to build capacity amongst Kenyans on this subject and the hackathon is an example of one such initiative. 

“The initiative has provided a great forum for interaction and knowledge exchange amongst cyber security enthusiasts in academia and the industry” noted Wanjau. 

“As an Authority, we are happy that through this hackathon, we have adequately sparked conversations on cyber security and hopefully more and more Kenyans will be alert as they engage on their favorite platforms,” concluded Wanjau.  

Kenyans are increasingly at risk of cyber security threats due to the high Internet and smart phone penetration rate in the country. During the period of April – June 2019, the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team – Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC) detected 26.6 million cyber threat events as compared to 11.3 million cyber threat events detected in the period of Jan- March 2019. 

The increase in cyber threat events detected is attributed to the global increase in malware including ransomware attacks during this period. 

The Hackathon was held on the sidelines of the 2019 National Cyber Security Conference that was geared towards enhancing skills sets in provision of cyber solutions and problem solving skills in the online space. 

The Authority through the National KE-CIRT/CC is the body mandated to coordinate response and manage cyber security incidents in Kenya.

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