White hats and bug hunters gather for Kosovo Cyber Defense Week

Kosovo’s leading cyber security professionals come together with citizens for six days of roundtables, bootcamps, and hackathons to boost cyber security efforts.

Cyber Defense Week–a series of lectures, hands-on trainings, and even a simulated cyberattack competition–kicks off in Prishtina today.

The event, hosted by Innovation Centre Kosovo, ICK, and Sentry, a cybersecurity company from Kosovo, is the first of what its founders hope will become an annual tradition.

“This year’s theme will be corporate security,” said Shpend Lila, the training, events, and public relations manager at ICK. He explained that the activities will focus on how new technologies will affect the future of economy, industry, welfare, and security, especially regarding Kosovo’s private and business sector, in order to improve the cybersecurity of Kosovo’s businesses and citizens.

The first two days of the event will feature roundtable discussions with experts from various fields such as cybersecurity companies from Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, experts and auditors from various banks and financial institutions, as well as representatives from governmental, corporate, and educational organizations.

Highlights include “Cyber Terrorism and Recruitment,” which will touch on the role of information technology in the recruitment of youth into terrorist organisations, as well as how it could be used as a preventative measure, and “Dark Web Marketplaces,” which will explore the evolution of illegal trade and its effects in Kosovo.

“As internet use increases and as the technological advancements lead to its novel uses, cyber attacks and threats also increase and become more advanced,” said Drinor Selmanaj, the founder of Sentry. “So each company, governmental network, business, and private person has to be informed and updated with the latest types of cyber threats and methods to counter them.”

Mid-week will feature bootcamps where students will be able to sharpen their skills on how to secure network infrastructure, how computer program exploits are weaponized, and finding security bugs on Windows systems.

From Friday until Sunday, the event will feature a so-called ‘capture the flag competition hackathon,’ where teams of white hat hackers — those who use their skills benignly to improve and defend computer systems — will compete against each other.

Selmanaj described the competition as being specifically built to simulate a corporate environment where advanced offensive and defensive hacking skills could be applied.

“In order to create a challenging environment, the participants will represent groups with different interests and motives, such as a governmental cyber defence institution, a ‘hacker team,’ a corporation, as well as hacker organisations,” Selmanaj said.

“The purpose of these kinds of groupings is to provide the participants with a real simulation of these types of attacks, the effect they could have, as well as their defense capabilities.”

Cyber Defense Week 2017 will take place from September 11th-17. Registration is free. Information about the full program and registration can be found on the Cyber Defense Week website.

11/09/2017 - 09:42

11 September 2017 - 09:42

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.