Competition: Atlantic Council's UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

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If your computer screen morphed into a demand for ransomware from criminals shortly before a nation state took down the power supply to half the country, could you imagine what to do? Who would you call? Could you pick apart the motivation of the attackers? Could you discern what their real objectives are? Can you prevent other enemies jumping on the bandwagon at a time of vulnerability? Could you be part of the team to counsel a traumatised population, handle the diplomacy of attribution, and guide the authorities out of the crisis?

Cyber security is proving that the country - the world! - has an insatiable appetite for level-headed and imaginative people from diverse backgrounds and across genders to tackle the adversity in the face of organised crime, rogue states, and some political entities that ought to know better! Are you one of these people? The disciplines we need include psychologists, criminologist, engineers, operational researchers, and lawyers as well as mathematicians and computer scientists.

The Atlantic Council's UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge ( presents such a scenario for students (in teams of 4) to tackle a plausible cyber attack scenario. This competition looks for the wider views and abilities of of governance, management, and politics who must oversee the technicians and engineers who will be frantically coding, soldering, and rebooting equipment to minimise the destruction and impact.

Put your application in now to join the University of Manchester team.

Apply for the team by answering these three questions (no more than 1xA4 page in total) by noon, 28th Oct. 2019, sending your response to

  1. Why should your team be at the 2020 Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge?
  2. What are the current strategic cyber security challenges the United Kingdom faces?
  3. What do you consider to be the most significant cyber incident  (from open sources) to date and why?

The competition will take place in BT Tower (London) over February 17-18, 2020 (0800 to 1700 on both days).  The University will support the travel and accommodation expenses of our team. (Food and drink will be provided whilst on site at BT Tower).

Looking forward to a good response and a tough choice to choose our team. Successful applications to join the team will be selected by the University's Digital Trust and Security Group and notified by 29th Nov 2019.

For more information please email