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UK teen wins Cyber Security competition

A UK teenager has been crowned the winner in a cyber security competition, sponsored by government intelligence organisation GCHQ.

Jonathan Millican from Cambridge, a first year University student, hit the podium yesterday at the Cyber Security Challenge UK Awards in Bristol, beating many thousands of competitors. As part of the competition, he was able to demonstrate his abilities in a wide range of communication and technical skills, with the tests being designed by HP and Cassidian.

According to The Inquirer, most of the tasks set to the finalists were designed to simulate a company suffering security problems, with the participants charged with discovering the root causes of each issue and developing a solution for them.

The prize pot is said to be worth over £100,000 and includes a visit to GCHQ, attendance at live-virtual SANS courses, CompTIA Apple iPad 2 or 3 and a 7Safe CAST Advanced Application Hacking course. While you could argue about the monetary value, these are certainly interesting prizes for someone considering whether to enter the cyber security field.

When asked about his experiences with the competition, Mr Millican stated: "I've never really thought about cyber security. The degree I'm currently undertaking in computer science was largely out of general interest in the subject. This award has acted as validation that I might have the skills to become a cyber security professional."

Fancy being part of the next Cyber Security Challenge? Registrations are now open.

At least this competition went quite well and didn't see any simple mistakes make GCHQ look rather silly - like what happened with that other one.

Dipping his toes into almost everything that could be labeled 'nerdy' in his free time, Jon has been writing about technology for over half a decade. While mainly focusing on PC hardware thoughout this time, today he's more varied, covering everything from gaming to general electronics, industry perspectives and consoles. As well as writing for different sites, Jon enjoys wargaming, reading and PC gaming, hoping to balance out these geeky pastimes with fire spinning and MMA.