GCHQ launched an all-girls cyber competition at the start of March to encourage more girls to have an active role in the country’s cyber security network. We submitted the A team which consisted of Ella Ramage, Milly Routledge, Alice Forson and Lucy Inett to take part in the competition. The first part was the online round where we were given sets of categorised challenges (Cryptography, Cyber Security, Logic & Coding and Networking) in which ...the difficulty increased as you progressed. After the week was over we managed to complete 94% of all the 69 challenges we were given to complete.
Our hard work enabled us to deserve a place in the top 10 teams out of the 2100 teams that entered across the country. We were invited to attend the grand finale in London on the 26th -27th March. On the Sunday, we had an opportunity to meet some of the people that work for GCHQ over a formal dinner in the evening. The next morning, we went to Lancaster house, where we were introduced to the task and each given a laptop and enough resources to determine who had ‘hacked’ a school website. Everyone was given 5 hours to complete the task and after the time was up we had to give a presentation to a small panel of successful ladies within the cyber industry. Overall we were marked on three categories: whether we got the suspect information correct, the presentation and the amount of hidden codes we found along the way.
“The competition has really opened our eyes to a whole new career choice. We went into this competition hardly knowing anything about the cyber industry and from the challenges we have come away knowing so much more than we did before; enlightening us with future possibilities and opportunities we had no idea existed before. We all hope to peruse in this pathway in the future and thank everyone for the amazing opportunity and experience we had.”