Huddersfield's Snowden flies high in US Defence cyber challenge

Technical support officer was only beaten by a team of four from Northrop Grumman

A senior technical support officer at the University of Huddersfield has flown high in the prestigious 2013 DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge, a global cyber security competition designed by experts at the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Centre (DC3).

Glyn Snowden (presumably no relation to the infamous Edward Snowden) was placed second overall, losing out on the top spot by a handful of points.

This year saw more submissions than ever before, with 1,254 teams from 49 countries around the world entering.

The Digital Forensics Challenge is a team competition, but Snowden entered on his own and was second only to a group of four from $25 billion US security and defence technology giant Northrop Grumman, making him the highest-ranked civilian in the competition.

He completed all of the challenges using only Microsoft Word and open source, freeware and demo software systems.

The exercises required entrants to submit answers and accompanying methodologies to solve puzzles, ranging from image geo tagging analysis and data obfuscation to password recovery, file encryption and advanced steganography.

Some exercises had no known solutions and others required candidates to develop their own custom tools, programmes and scripts.

The other 60 UK entrants who registered through the UK Cyber Security Challenge were also well-represented at the top of the leaderboard, taking seventh, 17th and 22nd place.

Glyn Snowden has worked in the school of computing and engineering at the University of Huddersfield for over 21 years, and never expected to be placed second in the world in the competition.

He said: "The calibre of the other teams was extraordinarily high and it's not yet sunk in that I was the overall civilian winner and UK winner."

Although his job involves working with computers he doesn't directly work in cyber security. "The only part of my role that requires these skills is when the university staff and students come to me with malware on their computers. I'm able to use the skills I've acquired to remove malicious programmes and make their systems more secure," he said.

For his efforts Snowden received a place on the 7Safe university-accredited training course in application security testing worth over £2,000. The three-day course involves learning how to identify security vulnerabilities in web applications such as web-based email and shopping websites.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Northrop GrummanMicrosoftsecuritycareersIT management

More about MicrosoftNorthrop Grumman

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Antony Savvas

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts