General questions

What happens after I register?

Upon registering you will receive an email directing you to the hub, where you’ll find information about the competition and useful guides. This email will also contain links to the competition downloads (also found on the hub). Registration is only open for a set period; after it closes you will be invited and encouraged to take part in a practice round – to set up your competition environment and prepare for the competition.

What are the dates for the competition?

The practice round begins on 7 October; you are encouraged to take part in a practice round – to set up your competition environment and prepare for the competition. During this time you can ask questions and receive answers from the competition creators. The first of three competition rounds begins on 13 November 2020, the next is 11 December 2020 and third is 22 January 2021. Essential information can also be found here.

Do I need to be technical to support my team?

No, you don’t need to be technical because your support to the team is administrative. If they are asking you questions you don’t understand ask them to write it in an email, with as much detail as possible, and send it to us. This process replicates a normal working environment ‘ticket’ style issue resolution and encourages the teams to research their own solution.

What makes a team?

Teams are made up of four individuals (with an optional reserve) all within the same age category (either 12-14 years old or 15-18 years old).

Who runs this competition?

The competition is designed and administered by the American Airforce Association in the USA, is led by Northrop Grumman Europe, and delivered by Cyber Security Challenge UK.

What is the prize for the first placed senior team?

We are offering the winning senior team a once in a lifetime trip to America to visit the Northrop Grumman facilities.

When is the winners trip to America?

The trip will be for five days during or very close to school holidays – either the end of the summer or October half term, depending on the availability of the American hosts.

Which images are for junior teams?

It will be clear during the rounds which images are for which age category. Senior teams do three images and Junior teams do two. Junior teams will be penalised for completing the wrong images or attempting to gain extra points by competing with the third image.

Do we have to compete in each round?

You do not have to take part in every round; you can drop in and out depending on your availability. However, to stand a chance of reaching the finals you need to compete in each round to score the maximum amount of points.

When are the finals?

The date and venue for the CyberCenturion VII finals will be confirmed soon.

Practice Rounds

How long does the practice round last for?

The practice round will be open from 7th October to 6th November.

Can I play at any time?

During the practice round, you can play at any time.

Will my scores be counted?

No scores are counted or recorded, but we can see who took part in the practice rounds.

My images aren’t right – how do I check I’ve got the right ones?

You can run a checksum to make sure the images are correct – follow instructions in the email from the AFA or our user guide to see how to run a checksum. If the checksum does not match, re-download the image. If the checksum does not match after several attempts, try using a different browser, computer, or network, then contact us.

How do I know the environment I’ve created is set up correctly?

You will be able to play the game during the practice rounds – the environment you need to play the practice rounds is the same as the competition, which is why it’s good to get it set up in advance!

I don’t understand one of the set-up processes, where can I get help?

You can find the official competition instructions on the Helpful Guides page. You will also find the Installation Guide written specifically for UK Team Leaders. If you’re still struggling please contact us.

Live online rounds

How long do the online rounds last for?

Round One and Two will be live for three days Friday – Sunday between the hours of 11am and 5pm. Round Three will be live Friday and Saturday only, 11am – 5pm.

Can I play at any time?

Scores will only be counted between 11am and 5pm on the competition days – and you only get one 6 hour window each round. Use it wisely!

Are my scores counted?

Yes, during the competition window 11am – 5pm on any given competition day, your scores will be counted. Any points submitted after this will not be counted and you may be penalised for not obeying the competition rules.

How many images should we play?

Senior teams do three images and Junior teams do two, Junior teams will be penalised for completing the wrong images or attempting to gain extra points by competing with the third image.

Can we start playing after school?

If you begin to play after school on Friday you will only have a few hours as the servers stop recording scores at 5pm on Friday. Time cannot be carried over to another day.

Can we split our play time over the weekend?

No, once you start playing, you have a continuous 6 hour window to compete. Time cannot be carried over. For example, if you start at 3pm on any of the competition days, you will only have 2 hours to play that round.

What happens if we play the wrong images?

If you accidentally begin playing the wrong image you need to stop and contact the competition admins immediately to avoid being penalised – honesty is the best policy. We can be contacted on, which is monitored during the competition period.

What happens if we go over time? Or start early?

If you go over, any points scored will not count and you will be penalised according to the AFA rules.

Not happy with your score?

Sometimes teams wish to contest their scores during or after the online rounds, to do this, you must do so in writing (to within one week of the preliminary scores being released, any contested scores will be reviewed by the AFA and results published on the CyberCenturion Hub.

What are the competition rules?

It is important to remember that Team Leaders must control the use of passwords and images throughout the season, and are responsible for their teams’ respectful conduct throughout. Listed below are the five major rules (full rules can be read here) to keep in mind while competing in an online round:
1. All images must be deleted at the end of the round.
2. Teams have a single six-hour period to complete all work. No sneak peeks!
3. Teams may only have one instance of each image open at a time PER UNIQUE ID / TEAM #.
4. If your image(s) cannot reach the scoring server, please contact your IT department or network administrator.
5. Teams may not share information or scripts with teams from the same school, organisation or any other team.

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