My father, Ben Anderson plays with numbers. As his Twitter bio says “big data, small data, open data, any data”. He works with R a lot and has been persuading me to take a look at it. I’ve held off until now because I’m all for analysing data in real time (primarily using delightful JS libraries such as Chart.js and D3.js). As far as I understood it, R is geared towards static data analysis and because of that, is able to utilise the hardware it runs on to optimise computations. Dad has an SSD in his Mac which reduces the time to load data substantially, but he also makes use of the R package data.table. This library makes manipulation of data ridiculously fast as it stores it all in RAM.
Today, the guys at SubjectRefresh and I competed in the Cyber Centurion Security Challenge at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.
The day started with an introduction by the organisers and a brief explanation of how the day was going to work. Then it was off to the marquee to get started securing the machines we were provided with. There were two Windows VMs (server 2008 and 8.1) and one Ubuntu 14.04 image. The team delegated four people to work on the machines in the first part of the day and swapped out two at lunch time.
By the end, we’d managed to get 66% of the vulnerabilities on Ubuntu and about 80% on each of the Windows VMs. This result was on par with most of the other teams, the top 5 or so each having really close overall scores.
Our team bio is available at https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/competitors/cybercenturion/ and you can find out more about the Finals at https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/competition-final-at-bletchley-park/.
It was a fantastic day and we all had a lot of fun. To top it all off, we featured on the ITV Anglia news this evening! http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2016-04-26/competition-aims-to-find-next-generation-of-cyber-defence-experts/