A cybersecurity competition began on Saturday in Tokyo, with organizers aiming to show off the skills of young Japanese hackers by testing them against international rivals.
The final rounds of the Security Contest 2014, or SECCON, brought together 90 participants in 24 teams from seven nations: Taiwan, the US, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea and China.
The winners of the Tokyo competition will advance to the prestigious Def Con CTF (Capture the Flag) competition, scheduled for later this year, organizers said.
SECCON was designed to allow young Japanese technology engineers to show off their skills on the world stage, while also encouraging more to enter the field of cybersecurity.
Teams compete for points by hacking six virtual servers to discover particular keywords, and can also intervene to stop their rivals’ cyberattacks.
“There is a need for a forum where fledgling, young ... hackers can grow and gain understanding of their families, schools and the outside world,” SECCON executive committee chairperson Yoshinori Takesako said.
“This is important in order to keep them away from being pulled into the underground world,” he said in a statement to reporters.
The event has drawn a total of 4,186 participants from 58 nations through various qualifying rounds.
Takesako said the organizers, supported by government agencies, tech firms and academics, also want to change the media image that Japan lags behind other nations in the cybersecurity field.
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