Crossword helps Sultan Qaboos University design cyber challenges

28 December 2020 2 min. read

The Sultan Qaboos University has brought in experts from Crossword Cybersecurity to help it with developing the programme for the qualifying rounds of the national cybersecurity capture the flag tournament. 

The competition takes place on 14 January 2021, and will see students from the Muscat-based university exercise their cybersecurity skills and learn from their peers. Cybersecurity topics in the competition will include web security, digital forensics, reverse engineering, network security and cryptography.

The technical cyber security challenges used in the so-called ‘Capture the Flag’ (CTF) competition are currently being developed in collaboration with Crossword, a UK-based company focused on cyber security and risk management consultancy. Tom Ilube, the CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity, said: “We’ve delighted to be working on such an exciting initiative in Oman, as the country continues to build its cyber eco-system and expertise.” 

Crossword helping Sultan Qaboos University design cyber challenges

Now in its third year, teams participating in the challenge will complete a Jeopardy Style CTF where every team will have a list of challenges in different categories. For every challenge solved, the team will get a certain amount of points depending on the difficulty of the challenge. The team that ends the day with the highest score will win the competition, and will be eligible to compete in the national competition.

Hosted later in 2021, the national edition will see the winners of several educational institutions in the Sultanate compete against each other, with the winner eligible to represent Oman at regional and international CTFs. 

The competition forms part of a wider programme in Oman to promote cybersecurity as a career, and to build a cyber eco-system through coherent initiatives across education, economy and Government.

For AIM-listed Crossword, “We see this very much as the start of our work in the country and look forward to being more active there over time,” said Ilube. The London-based company is supported in its local ambitions by UK-Oman Digital Hub, a platform that aims to foster business relations between UK and Oman organisations. 

Meanwhile, in the UK, Crossword Cybersecurity has in recent weeks supported the NHS with creating a system that allows testing laboratories to issue immunity certificates to individuals on their smartphones, as part of the large scale Covid-19 vaccination programme.