• Students from MIT and Cambridge University completed various cybersecurity challenges as part of a 24-hour Cambridge 2 Cambridge hackathon.

    Students from MIT and Cambridge University completed various cybersecurity challenges as part of a 24-hour Cambridge 2 Cambridge hackathon.

    Photo: Jason Dorfman/CSAIL

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  • Students competed in challenges such as lock-picking and password-breaking as part of the 24-hour hackathon.

    Students competed in challenges such as lock-picking and password-breaking as part of the 24-hour hackathon.

    Photo: Rachel Gordon/CSAIL

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  • Winners of the $15,000

    Winners of the $15,000 "Top Hacking Team" prize were (l-r) Cambridge University students Alex Dalgleish and Gabor Szarka and MIT students Julian Fuchs and Cheng Chen.

    Photo: Rachel Gordon/CSAIL

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  • CSAIL principal research scientist Howard Shrobe spoke at the C2C event on why cybersecurity researchers need to collaborate across borders.

    CSAIL principal research scientist Howard Shrobe spoke at the C2C event on why cybersecurity researchers need to collaborate across borders.

    Photo: Jason Dorfman/CSAIL

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MIT, Cambridge University team up for “Cambridge 2 Cambridge” hackathon

Students from MIT and Cambridge University completed various cybersecurity challenges as part of a 24-hour Cambridge 2 Cambridge hackathon.

Hosted by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, event featured mixed student teams tackling cybersecurity challenges.


Press Contact

Adam Conner-Simons
Email: aconner@csail.mit.edu
Phone: 617-324-9135
MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab

With cyber-attacks and data privacy becoming increasingly important global concerns, many cybersecurity experts have called for more international collaboration in developing technologies to help us protect our data and systems.

To that end, this past weekend students from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Cambridge University collaborated in a special multi-day competition at MIT dubbed “Cambridge 2 Cambridge” (C2C).

First announced by President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron last year, the event on Friday and Saturday was part of a series of U.S./U.K. initiatives aimed at harnessing the two nations’ collective brainpower to combat global cyber-attacks.

The competition featured a 24-hour “Capture the Flag”-style hackathon with blended student teams from CSAIL and Cambridge, as well as a series of other mini-challenges that include lock-picking, password-cracking, and code-breaking. Winning teams were awarded cash prizes courtesy of Microsoft.

“It was exciting to partner with the University of Cambridge on this initiative, which we hope will be the first of many efforts to foster more collaborative cybersecurity work,” says Howard Shrobe, the CSAIL principal research scientist who heads up the lab’s Cybersecurity@CSAIL initiative. “We think it’s vital to create opportunities for students to actively apply their knowledge to real-world problems, and C2C enables just those sorts of hands-on experiences.”

Hackathon participants developed attacks and defenses for ongoing challenges in cybersecurity. They competed in a graduated set of exercises touching on such topics as web security, reverse engineering, cryptography, binary exploitation, and forensics.

The $5,000 “Top Hacker” prize was awarded to MIT student Julian Fuchs. The $15,000 “Top Hacking Team” prize was awarded to MIT students Gabor Szarka, Cheng Chen, and Fuchs, alongside Cambridge University student Alex Dalgleish.

"People are becoming more aware of what can happen to their data online,” says participant Cecilia Testart, a first year PhD student. “The sorts of tasks we did today, like accessing data remotely, are critical because if more of these devices are connected, hacking can happen on a larger scale.”

C2C was supported by Microsoft, BT, Facebook and ForAllSecure, as well as Rapid7, ThreatStream, Cisco Systems, Fresh Cognate and Cybersecurity@CSAIL members Akamai, BAE Systems, BBVA, Boeing, BP, Raytheon, and Visa.


Topics: Special events and guest speakers, Contests and academic competitions, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Computer science and technology, Cyber security, Global, United Kingdom, International initiatives, President Obama, Students, Privacy, School of Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (eecs)

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