The annual competition tests the cybersecurity skills of students from Algonquin College, Carleton University, University of Ottawa, and La Cité,
The first and second place teams were both from the Bachelor of Information Technology Program, a collaboration between Algonquin College and Carleton. The top team, BITNET, consisted of students Hatim Bakkali, Kristopher Lloyd, Philippe Davies and Ricky Poon.
The second place team, Maria and the Three Stooges, included Alireza Karami, Alvin Tam, Maria Conway and Shuaib Munshi.
Top performers at the competitions had the opportunity to interview for fully-paid internships with the sponsoring companies: Bank of Canada, Bell Canada and CGI. Each team's objective was to hack a vulnerable computer network, break through the cyber defences, take control of the systems, and advise a fictitious company on how to defend against a cyberattack.
Mayor Jim Watson made a special appearance and kicked off the event with an inspiring speech to the competitors. “I rely on people like you to help keep our systems safe and secure in the City of Ottawa,” Watson said. “It is vitally important to encourage students to continue to study cybersecurity. We all rely on safe and secure data and information, and events such as this one encourage individuals to learn more.”
A third Algonquin team hailed from the Computer System Technology - Security program. The team, Red Thunder, was made up of students Liban Abdi, Jerico Garcia, Ernst Jean-Pierre, and Lebon Tchiza. Coach Patrick Ouellette, Program Coordinator, Cyber Security Programs, said “this is beyond basic course content.” Ouellette stated that the students have been preparing for this in their Penetration Testing course for the past month. “On Wednesdays we have theory practice, and on Saturdays we let them be hands on.”
The victorious Bachelor of Information Technology – Network Technology teams were both coached by Algonquin’s Rob Brandon, professor, Information and Communications Technology.
“It feels great to win!" said BITNET team member Ricky Poon. "It’s a good learning experience in tech, and allows us to get exposure to cybersecurity and penetration testing, that will come in handy later on in tech jobs.”
CyberSCI representative, Shirley McKey, said the competition brings together academia, industry, and government: "The best candidates are being drawn to the field, helping to fill Canadians growing need for highly competent professionals in cybersecurity."
The Canadian Cyber Security Challenge was founded in 2011 by Tom Levasseur, senior security consultant with the Bank of Canada, to address the shortage of skilled resources in Canada’s IT security workforce.