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Kathryn van den Berg

Stellenbosch University (SU) Computer Science students win the Cyber Security Challenge.

The team of four participated in a three-day challenge, made up of one main challenge and several sub-challenges; all of which proved no match for SU’s knowledgeable cyber-hacking team.

Jonathan Botha, a member of the team, explained that the purpose of the competition was to promote information security. The motto of the competition was, “In order to defend a system, one needs to know how to attack it,” explained Jonathan.

This motto acted as a guideline for our students to succeed in the main challenge (made up of 30 sub-challenges) during the finals, in which SU came out victorious against the 8 competing teams.

Botha explained one of the sub-challenges where his team had to find evidence of a gang’s activities in a recovered hard drive, where this evidence was disguised as broken files.

Botha credited his ability to remain calm during the challenges to experience. Both him and one of his co-competitors, Luke Joshua, have represented Stellenbosch in the finals of a similar competition, The Standard Bank Tech Impact Challenge.

Joseph Rautenbach, another member of the team, said that the team’s familiarity with the concepts required for the competition saved them from falling behind on their academic work. Although representing the University, the team did not get any training from professors or lecturers in preparation for this competition.

Rautenbach spoke for his team when he said that they are incredibly proud to have represented the University.

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