South Korean team wins Vietnam's global cybersecurity contest

By Chau An   December 29, 2020 | 04:00 am PT
South Korean team wins Vietnam's global cybersecurity contest
Members of the Vietnamese team compete in the qualification round of the WhiteHat Grand Prix 06. Photo courtesy of the organizer.
Engineers from South Korea, Russia and the U.S. pocketed the first, second and third prizes at WhiteHat Grand Prix 06 organized by Vietnam.

The final round was held on Dec. 27, with competing teams comprising two from Vietnam, three from the U.S., two from South Korea and three each from Germany, India and Russia.

The Vietnamese teams finished in sixth and seventh places.

In this round, finalists vied in the attack/defense program inside a simulated environment.

The organizer built up a security management system that uses real hardware devices to make the fight realistic. The mission of each team included attacking, exploiting others' vulnerabilities to disable security cameras, motion detectors, and surveillance lights, among others, while keeping their own systems protected.

It took them eight hours to complete their mission.

Due to the pandemic, the annual contest was held online instead of taking place in Hanoi as in previous years.

WhiteHat Grand Prix 06 is the 6th global cybersecurity competition organized by Vietnam. It is officially guaranteed by Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communications, co-organized by the ministry's Authority of Information Security and local technology firm Bkav.

With the theme "Vietnam Today," the contest kicked off on Jan. 4, 2020 with the top 10 teams to compete in the final round.

The qualification round attracted a record 739 teams from 84 countries and territories.

The contest follows the format of Jeopardy, which focuses on risk warning, Attack/Defense and one brand-new program, WhiteHat Bug Bounty, which aims at finding vulnerabilities in important information systems and popular software in Vietnam.

Thanks to the new feature, competitors were able to find 20 errors in existing local systems and software.

Ngo Tuan Anh, vice chairman of Bkav, said: "Proactively detecting and handling vulnerabilities in popular software and important systems in Vietnam will help make the network more secure. From discovered vulnerabilities, organizers will support businesses in patching and ensuring the safety of Vietnam's network."

The top three finalists were rewarded with VND230 million ($10,000), VND45 million and VND23 million.

Nguyen Thanh Phuc, director general of the Authority of Information Security, said: "In ensuring cybersecurity, skilled experts play a key role. Competitions like WhiteHat Grand Prix will help promote the development of Vietnam's cybersecurity human resources and affirm the country’s reputation in the international cybersecurity community."

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