Qualifying for this year’s Austria Cyber Security Challenge (ACSC) has begun. Until 31 August 2023, pupils, apprentices and students can qualify for the finals of the ACSC 2023 in two age categories. All interested persons aged 26 and older have the chance to compete for the Austrian National Championship in the open class.
12 Challenges to qualify and train for
Anyone who wants to take on the Austria Cyber Security Challenge 2023 can register now at verbotengut.at/anmeldung/ and make the leap into the HackingLab – the platform on which the qualifiers as well as the finals are played. The European Hacker Championship 2022 was also played on HackingLab.
Until the end of August, participants will have to successfully complete twelve challenges in order to qualify for the finals on 3 and 4 October 2023 at the Design Center Linz. The conditions for the different participant categories are similar, but not the same: the number of those tasks classified as difficult and very difficult increases with the age group.
“The qualification is an online application and can be tackled from the comfort of your home, school or office. In contrast to the final, where teams compete for the title, the qualification has to be done alone,” explains Joe Pichlmayr, who founded the Austria Cyber Security Challenge with the CSA association 12 years ago. He advises new participants to plan enough time for the tasks: “Our top players manage the challenges in a few days – but only if they work on them almost around the clock. It makes more sense to spread the tasks over several days and weeks – because despite all ambition, the challenge should above all be fun and bring educational insights!
Equipment for the Austria Cyber Security Challenge
A standard PC or laptop and common bandwidths are completely sufficient to successfully use the ACSC. “It gets trickier when it comes to the software,” says Joe Pichlmayr: “Experienced players naturally have their own tool set and their individual preferences. Working out your perfect set of tools is an important lesson and a prerequisite for efficient and fast hacking. On the HackingLab platform you will find recommendations and everything you need for a successful ACSC!”
Anyone can try their hand at the 12 challenges––and there is no shame in noticing that the ACSC tasks are still a tad too difficult. “That’s exactly why we designed Level1“, explains Joe Pichlmayr: “Here, beginners and those interested have the chance to approach the topic of ‘hacking’ even with less prior knowledge and a lot of fun. Those who want to take their younger siblings on this journey or prefer to pursue the security topic in a completely playful way will also find a series of educational and entertaining security games.“
There is no such thing as too early when it comes to (cyber) security: anyone who operates a smartphone or computer should know about important behaviour rules and possible dangers and can learn them in a playful way.
Best prospects for cyber security experts
The earlier the interest is awakened in not only operating computers, but also understanding them, the earlier talent can be recognised and promoted.
Cyber security knowledge and skills are also worthwhile in the long term and are in great demand on the labour market. In addition to the competition, the Austria Cyber Security Challenge also functions as a platform where talents, professionals, career changers and future employers meet and form a sustainable network for Austria’s security in cyberspace. Winning is not a prerequisite: The 25 best pupils and students will be invited to the Center of Excellence, where they will receive further support and encouragement and can network with like-minded people and mentors.
“Our top players of the past years are still shining today––whether with very successful startups like “hello again“ by Sebastian Auberger; beeSecurity by Florian Bogner or with Syslifters by Patrick Pirker and Aron Molnar“, Joe Pichlmayr is proud of the success of the Challenge and the participants: “Our former finalists also hold top positions in the field of security in companies and public authorities. They contribute significantly to the cyber security of these companies with their commitment and expertise.”
Register now and join the ACSC2023: