Kids were chasing hackers at the science and technology fair

11 Sep 2023

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Last weekend, the Science and Technology Fair took place at the Brno Exhibition Center. More than four dozen science and technology educational organizations, academic institutes, universities and private companies presented themselves to schools and families with children. The Cybersecurity Team of Masaryk University (CSIRT-MU) was also present at the event. Our team prepared an escape game and an interactive quiz for the visitors, during which children and their parents could playfully review the principles of safe behaviour on social media.

Every visitor had the opportunity to experience for himself that science is not just about boring theory, but very often, it is very practical, useful and engaging. The more the world around us is digitized, the more important the issue of cyber security becomes. Cyber ​​attacks in the Czech Republic have almost doubled over the past month and targeted the financial sector, state administration, healthcare and academic institutions, as well as industry, businesses and even individuals.

Safe cyberspace depends on the behaviour of each one of us

But what does a hacker attack look like in practice? Why do hackers attack, and what do they do with the stolen data? Visitors could try all this in practice in a specially created escape game simulating a real situation from a university environment. The goal of the game was to catch and convict the hacker. All 36 teams succeeded in the end. The hacker was not very professional and made several mistakes that people commonly make. The players thus learned firsthand that it is not at all difficult to decipher simple passwords and that even the most secure system can be very vulnerable if the user does not behave responsibly.

Cyber ​​security education is one of the many important activities of the Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-MU) from the Institute of Computer Science of Masaryk University. The security of the network is very strongly dependent on the behaviour of each of us. In addition to regular participation in the Night of Scientists and the Science and Technology Fair, the team takes care of the educational website, which contains important information not only for employees and students of Masaryk University. In addition to interesting articles on current cybersecurity topics, one can find there an overview of courses for children, students, university employees, and the general public, including the most vulnerable target group, which is the elderly.

We were very pleased that there was so much interest in our escape game. All the places were reserved a few days before the start of the fair, and the visitors really enjoyed chasing hackers it with us. This year, our cybersecurity team will also traditionally participate in the Researchers' Night at the Faculty of Informatics of Masaryk University, which will take place on October 6, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m. So don't hesitate and come improve your cybersecurity skills with us!

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