The Official Welcome from Professor Frank Stajano:
It is my great pleasure to welcome all participants to the 800-years-old University of Cambridge. Since the inaugural C2C 2016 last year, held at MIT with 15 students from MIT and 10 from Cambridge, we have run two further national “Inter-ACE” competitions. Today’s C2C 2017 is our largest ethical hacking event yet, with three days of competitions and social events for, at the time of writing, 110 students from some of the best universities in the US and UK. Special thanks to our MIT friends for bringing over so many US students.
We have assigned the competitors to teams that are mixed in terms of both provenance and experience. Each team has competitors from US and UK, and no two people from the same university; and each team also mixes experienced and less experienced players, based on the qualifier scores. This is of course intentional. We mix abilities to ensure that even those of you who only started learning about ethical hacking when you heard about this competition will have an equal chance of being in the team that wins the gold: while we shall, of course, reward competence and excellence, we don’t want the event to be dominated exclusively by those who have been hacking for years. We then also mix provenance to ensure that, during these three days, you collaborate with people you didn’t already know. Even though your prior experience may vary, you are all pretty smart, and you have an interest in cyber-security. Ten or twenty years from now, a number of you will probably be Security Specialists, Licensed Ethical Hackers, Chief Security Officers, National Security Advisors or other high calibre security professionals. When you find your institution or your country under attack, you will be able to get in touch with the other smart people you met here in Cambridge in 2017, and you’ll be in a position to help each other. Please enjoy the social events as much as the competition, and make a point of connecting with as many new interesting people as you can – not just those on your team. Whether you earn any medals or not, the friends you make during your stay here may well be your most valuable take-home reward.
I am extremely grateful to our partners, sponsors, and supporters, large and small, from government, industry, and academia, without whom none of this would have been possible. I recommend you engage with them too. Many of them will be keen to offer you a challenging and rewarding job that makes the most of your special talents.
If you are here today, you are part of an élite. Be proud of that. As Spiderman’s uncle famously said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. You are among the few with the superpowers needed to defend tomorrow’s digital society. Use your powers for good: we rely on you. And have fun.
Professor Frank Stajano, University of Cambridge and Trinity College
Co-founder of Cambridge2Cambridge and Inter-ACE