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Final eight candidates reach Masterclass following SOPHOS Malware Treasure Hunt

Published: 18/02/13

The list of finalists for this year's Cyber Security Challenge is finally complete!

This weekend, eight candidates triumphed at the Sophos Malware Hunt to secure the remaining places up for grabs at our Masterclass final in March. Sophos, the global IT security vendor, invited the top qualifiers from the online SANS Infrastructure Security Challenge to summon their inner James Bond and demonstrate their ability to identify a cyber attack from criminal gangs or hostile enemy states.

This final qualifier before our grand Masterclass challenge took place in light of the recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO) highlighting the costs of cyber crime to the UK economy, while SophosLabs currently identifies over 250,000 new pieces of malicious code every single day, designed to steal data and finances or provide backdoor access to our digital lives.

Candidates assembled at Sophos’ UK HQ to take on the role of forensics and defence specialists working for the UK Government. Their security skills were put to the test against rogue teams of cyber criminal gangs and nation states running rampant in a virtual environment.  Candidates were tasked with gathering and analysing evidence of attacks on the systems, and identify the attackers’ motives, skill levels and likely origins.

Following a testing session of tough cyber investigation, candidates had to present their findings and make recommendations to the heads of their mock government department. 

Stephen Fleming triumphed as the overall winner of Sophos’ competition but after a star turn at QinetiQ’s face to face competition earlier in the month, his place at Masterclass was already secured. Joining Stephen from the Sophos Malware Hunt are:


  • William Shackleton
  • Andrew Smith
  • Jeff Sergeant
  • Iain Wallace
  • Glyn Snowden
  • Edward Green
  • Oliver Rumbelow
  • Edward Sobey

The contest was the last of four brand new face-to-face competitions launched by Cyber Security Challenge UK to test qualifiers from its first round virtual competitions, and determine the forty finalists for the Masterclass final taking place in Bristol next month.

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