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Year 9 Cyber Day at Newent Community School

Amiosec attend their first NCSC’s Cyber Schools Hub project STEM event at Newent Community School


6th November, 2019


Newent Community School


A team of enthusiastic engineers have been working hard over the summer months to design an exciting workshop to engage and inspire students to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM). The engineers have been programming shiny new websites, soldering circuits together, 3D-printing enclosures and inventing logical puzzles. We were excited to trial our new workshop with groups of Year 9 students from Newent Community School.

On Wednesday 6th November, four of our engineers visited Newent Community School and set up our workshop – Cyber Security Detectives – A Race Against Time!

The CEO of Acme Corporation has been captured and her kidnappers are demanding a ransom of £10 million to be paid within the hour for her safe return, or they are threatening to blow up the warehouse where they are holding her! This is where we need your help as our Cyber Security Detectives to rescue her before the deadline. Using your investigative and problem solving skills, you will gain access to her email account to track down the kidnapper, crack an encrypted message to find the location of the warehouse, and then defuse the bomb all before the time runs out! Are you up for the challenge?

Amiosec ran the workshop four times throughout the day, delivering to a total of 80 students. The students started the workshop by searching for clues about our CEO on a fake social media site that we designed and then used that data to populate the “Forgotten your password?” form on a fake business website (also designed by us) in order to receive a password reminder. This then allowed the students to log in and gain access to the emails. The students then had to find an email from our villain Dr. E. Vil, which was Caesar Cipher encrypted. We didn’t tell the students what key had been used when encrypting the message, so they had to think about how they could crack the message – some students figured out that the email might end with the villains name, some thought the email might start with “Hello” while other students thought about popular words that they could try to use in the email to crack the code.

Once the students had decrypted the email message, they were informed of the location of the warehouse where the CEO was being held captive. However the warehouse was locked and they needed to solve some logical puzzles to get the numbers that had been used in the padlock. These logical puzzles taught the students about binary numbers, tested their reaction skills and got them to solve riddles. 

Finally, the students could use the numbers to unlock the padlock to the warehouse to rescue the CEO, and also defuse the bomb that Dr E. Vil had left! Unsurprisingly, this was the most exciting part of the workshop, with students shouting out answers to the riddles and encouraging team mates to cut the correct coloured wire, all while the timer counted down. We had a lot of bombs defused, but we also had a few explosions! 

Overall it was a great day supporting the NCSC’s Cyber Schools Hub project at Newent Community School. The students seemed to have a great day learning all about cryptography and binary numbers and hopefully sparked an interest in STEM and continuing STEM subjects at GCSE level. 

We look forward to visiting Newent Community School again in the future for another cyber day! 

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