TEAMS APT 69 and DinoDefend3rs made Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) proud when they were crowned champion and second runner-up, respectively, in the inaugural PwC Malaysia cybersecurity challenge.
Dubbed “Capture The Flag” (CTF), the competition saw Team A1ph4_Sh4rk! of Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology (TAR UMT) bagging the first runner-up title at the PwC Malaysia Kuala Lumpur office recently.
Held concurrently across Asia Pacific nations including Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia and Vietnam on Nov 7, the competition served as a platform to raise the competency level of future talents and help prepare them for a career in cybersecurity.
The competition theme, “Securing AI”, emphasised the significance of potential security risks tied to artificial intelligence (AI).
Aimed at immersing participants in a simulation of real-world cybersecurity scenarios, the competition provided undergraduates with a chance to interact with AI models and tools, demonstrating their problem-solving skills while competing against peers.
It assessed teams across six hacking categories, including AI and Cloud, reflecting the nation’s gaps in capabilities and providing students with opportunities to learn new skills.
The competition was supported by CyberSecurity Malaysia.
CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said the collaboration with PwC Malaysia was part of a broader strategy to fortify the country’s cyber defences.
“By investing in talent, nurturing skills and elevating cybersecurity awareness, we are safeguarding the future of Malaysia in the digital age.
“Our commitment to raising cybersecurity awareness is bolstered by the strong support from the government, as evidenced by the RM60mil allocation for the development of the 5G Cyber Security Testing Framework and 5G Technology Local Expertise announced under Budget 2024,” he said, adding that the allocation underscores the government’s recognition of the critical need to address and combat cyber threats and scams on a national scale.
With cybersecurity growing as a business imperative, the time is ripe for companies to rethink their cybersecurity due diligence and strategies and invest in cyber threat intelligence to be one step ahead of attackers at every stage, he said.
“There is value in getting the next generation of talents onboard in the fight against cyber attacks,” he added.
PwC Malaysia Digital Trust and Cybersecurity partner Clarence Chan said the CTF competition aligns with the notion “learn to hack, hack to learn”.
“From CREST-recognised threat intelligence and simulation services to adversary simulation to mimic real-life threat actors, and penetration testing against applications and infrastructure, our approach emphasises collaboration, education and the continuous evolution of cybersecurity defences,” he said in a press release.
The winners of the Malaysian leg of the CTF competition received prizes valued at up to RM15,000 per team, job placements within PwC Malaysia’s Digital Trust and Cybersecurity practice upon completion of undergraduate studies, and sponsorships for the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification or CREST Practitioner Security Analyst (CPSA) examination, upon confirmation of employment.