A team of Gibraltar school kids have taken out the British CyberCenturion hacking competition at Bletchley Park.
The student team, dubbed G-Sec, beat nine others to claim flags for identifying and patching flaws in a simulated online internet-of-things business saving it from equally imaginary attackers.
G-Sec is a diverse team including Jan Azzopardi, 21, Peter Zagura, Jared Cruz, and Abdullah Shuja, 18, Michael Cruz and Arron Baw,17, and Louis Smalls who is in year eight.
The competition is the culmination of three rounds of security challenges in which hundreds of high school competitors from across the UK and the Overseas Territories participated with 53 making it through to the final.
The business dubbed CyberPatio created smart garden furniture in what was set up as an example of the current porous security of embedded devices.
Competitors hacked away inside the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park next to the Colossus computer that helped crack encrypted messages during World War II.
Competitors included the winning Gibraltar gamer team, 15-year-old coders and robotics tinkerers, and school kids from Essex and Suffolk.
Cyber Security Challenge UK chief executive officer Stephanie Daman said the annual event is proving to be one of the most successful security challenges for school kids.
"The CyberCenturion competition is becoming one of the most successful coding and cyber events for this age group in the UK," Daman said in a statement,
"With an expected deficit of 1.5 million unfulfilled jobs in cyber globally by 2020, we need to get children interested in the field at an early age and STEM education programmes allow us to do just that.
"These young people could be the future defenders of our country.”
Andrew Tyler, Europe chief executive for sponsor Northrop Grumman, said the competition is a sister challenge to CyberPatriot in the US and CyberArabia in the Middle East
"There is a huge pool of untapped talent and enthusiasm for STEM subjects among young people and we believe we can use our world-leading expertise in cyber to help dramatically boost the UK’s STEM skills base," Tyler said.
Head of Physics for the winning team from Bayside secondary school told the Gibraltar Chronicle the team had been training for months. ®