News Article

Cheltenham Cyber Summer School begins

Last Updated: 07 Jul 2015
76 computer science students from UK universities come to Cheltenham to take part in a 10-week cyber security programme.

News article - 07 Jul 2015

Monday marked the start of the first ever GCHQ Cyber Summer School, known as Cyber Insiders.

While GCHQ has offered student placements for some years, this will be the first time we have run a summer school programme. We hope not only to provide participants with an innovative and informative curriculum, but also to attract them to return to GCHQ in the future as interns or to apply to become employees.

The course has been designed to focus on areas which would be particularly relevant to people taking on roles as Computer Network Operations Specialists. It includes modules on advanced coding, malware, operating systems, reverse engineering, cyber defence, and penetration testing.

Students will work towards a final project and take part in a 'capture the flag' exercise where they will work in teams to showcase the skills and knowledge they've gained at the Cyber Summer School.

As well as studying for a degree in computer science, the successful Cyber Insiders candidates needed to be able to code in C, Javascript, Perl or Python. At the selection stage, they were assessed on their knowledge of cyber security, and on their enthusiasm for coding and computer science, such as working on coding projects in their own time.

A GCHQ spokesperson said: "By inviting students to take part in our summer school, we hope to give an innovative, inspiring but challenging insight into both GCHQ and cyber security.

"We want to provide the students with a safe yet stimulating environment in which to stretch their capabilities. The majority of the course will be hands-on and learning is designed to be experiential."

Cyber Insiders is closely followed on 13 July by Northern Exposure, a six-week cyber summer school in Scarborough. Northern Exposure is aimed at people who won't necessarily have technical experience, but who are curious about technology and want to learn from the best.