Super cyber skills displayed in Perse student’s winning presentation
29 Aug 2019
Cameron Mackenzie (Lower Sixth) proved he is among the Cyber Elite by cracking the code in the final round of a national competition.
He was part of a four-strong team that prevailed in Cyber Elite – the final stage of the Cyber Discovery programme, a Government-run initiative aimed at turning teenagers across the country into cyber security experts.
Only the top 200 performers from an initial field of 28,000 students across the country were invited to join the Cyber Elite residential camps this summer after progressing through three stages testing problem-solving ability and code-cracking and programming skills.
Three other Perse students also did extremely well to make it to the Elite level – Edmund Goodman (Lower Sixth), Max Bennett (Year 11) and Daniel Chen (Year 9).
Cameron’s course focused on digital forensics and after five days of being taught by instructors from the SANS Institute, an organisation which provides cyber security training to governments and businesses, the participants were split into teams and given a case to solve.
On the premise that a young girl had gone missing, with the indication that she had ran away voluntarily with her older boyfriend, the teams were given a copy of the hard drive from her computer to use to find clues as to her whereabouts. Each group created a presentation on their findings and Cameron’s team’s demonstration was voted the winner by their peers.
Cameron, who is now studying for a GIAC cyber security certificate, was delighted to have won the competition and felt the residential camp had been a great experience.
He said: “We were shocked when we were voted the winning team. We had all been very impressed with the other finalists and were surprised when our entry came out on top.
“I learned a great deal from the camp as previously I had very little experience with digital forensics and had learned everything that I knew from attempting the forensics-based Game stage of Cyber Discovery. I learned how to track user activity across a windows system, even when the user attempted to tread lightly or cover their tracks.
“Although I may not pursue a career in digital forensics specifically, I found the experience very valuable. It has provided me with an extensive skill and put me in connection with many other similarly-minded young people and allowed me to make many friends.”