Monday, October 1, 2012

Reflection after GovWare and SCC 2012

As the GovWare 2012 came to an end, DISM students who participated in the event benefit in various ways. Aside from metaphysical learning, one of the students even won himself an New iPad!

Let us take a look at some of the extracts:
"Overall i find the oppurtunity given to my group to go to Govware 2012, a very much appreciated and memorable experience as well as fruitful in terms of learning. I would like to thank DISM as a whole and it was awesome working with my groupmates through thick and thin for the entire kinect project and the three amazing days at Govware."
Alvin Lau Tze Wen, DISM Year 3
"I enjoyed the 3 days showcasing our fyp project to people at govware. it definitely proves to be a good experience as i have able to understand more threats and solutions against cyber-attacks. A good interaction platform between different industrial professionals to learn as a whole. Look forward for more events like this in future!"
Benjamin Low Yu Cheng, DISM Year 3
"It was a good experience and exposure for me. i learned a lot of what the other polytechnics are doing for their projects. Explaining and showcasing our product to other IT profressionals around was really interesting as some were impressed while some suggested the ways that can be done that we didn't think of."
Muhammad Hafiz bin Abdul Majid, DISM Year 3

On the other hand, year 1 student Nikolas Tay too shared on his enriching experience at the Singapore Cyber Conquest (SCC). Below is a brief summary of the tournament from the official SCC website followed by a detailed reflective essay by Nikolas.
Participants will be faced with numerous challenges with 6 levels of difficulty. The type of infrastructure mimics a real-world company that has wired connections, multi-segmented networks and web applications. Participants will be required to capture the many flags available and challenges not only include typical web-based and binary analysis, but stenography and hardware forensics as well. 
Judges will score on the basis of time and difficulty. It will be a Jeopardy style game where the point system increases with the difficulty of the questions. Participants can start at any level of difficulty. 
[Extracted From govware.sg website

And here is how Nikolas felt as he commenced upon and completed his first ever CTF adventure:

"On 25th September 2012, I participated in Cyber Conquest 2012 which was a Capture The Flag (CTF) competition organised by SYPRIS.  As this was my first CTF competition other than the internal competition organised by the DISM Special Interest Group (SIG), I did really not know what to expect.

During the day of the competition, many things ran through my mind – What will the challenges be like? How should I best approach them? How will I fare? Etc.... When the competition finally started, I clicked on the first challenge and heaved a sigh of relief and as it was something I had come across before during my preparation. After capturing the first flag, I felt a sense of adrenaline and continued hammering away at my keyboard; consequently solving a few more challenges. The sense of satisfaction I had after “capturing” each flag was just overwhelming.

Towards the mid-point of the competition, I was stuck at some of the challenges that I was attempting. Despite the countless failures, I tried to approach the challenges in every single possible way that I could think of. This process resulted in me experimenting with several different tools that I have never used before and forced me to think of various creative approaches. Getting some of the flags was definitely not an easy task. In my attempts to solve some of the challenges, I had to push myself to my limits.

By the end of the competition, my team (NTnRH) solved 7 challenges and earned a total of 550 points. Though it was a nowhere near the 3000+ points achieved by the winners of the competition, I really enjoyed the competition as it was indeed an eye-opener.

On hindsight, this competition has definitely broadened the horizons of my knowledge in the field infocomm security. It also exposed me to several new techniques which I will definitely find useful in my future endeavours.

As a whole, this competition was an enriching experience for me and I truly look forward to competing in future CTF competitions!"

Keep up the good work guys! It is certainly a pleasure to read such a writeup from the actual participant's perspective. Hope more DISM students can share with us on their learning journey in time to come.

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