Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2023: ASEAN Cybersecurity Showdown

Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2023: ASEAN Cybersecurity Showdown

In a groundbreaking competition organised by the National Cyber Security Agency and Huawei Technologies (Thailand), 2,323 young IT talents battled it out in Thailand's largest cybersecurity showdown, aiming to bolster national cybersecurity and tackle online threats.

The National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) and Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. have joined forces to organise the "Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2023," a groundbreaking cybersecurity competition open to local students and the general public. Participants stand a chance to win cash prizes totalling up to 521,000 THB.

The competition's aim is to foster knowledge in the field of cybersecurity, address online threats, and serve as a platform for individuals to enhance their practical skills, ultimately boosting their proficiency in this critical domain. The winners of this competition will represent Thailand in the upcoming Cyber SEA Game. The first round of the competition, held on 16th September 2023, witnessed an overwhelming response, with 2,323 participants from across the country forming 831 competing teams. These teams covered all three categories: high school, university, and the general public. The final showdown, in which the last 30 teams competed for the prestigious title, took place on Saturday, 30th September 2023, at Centara Grand Central Plaza Ladprao and was presided over by Minister of Digital Economy and Society Prasert Chantararuangthong.

Minister of Digital Economy and Society Prasert Chantararuangthong said, "Cybersecurity is very critical in our connected world. Online threats have been steadily increasing in severity and can impact both public and private sectors on a global scale. The stakes are even higher when public infrastructures, such as national waterworks, electricity systems, or financial institutions, become targets, as the consequences can be far-reaching. With advanced technology, incidents involving compromised online data and various scams have become more prevalent among the Thai population. I see the increased number of participants in this year's competition as a good sign. It shows that we have plenty of resources to work towards the improvement of our national cybersecurity and bring it to the global standard.

The substantial increase in participants in this year's competition is a positive indicator of the abundant resources available to strengthen Thailand's national cybersecurity measures and elevate them to international standards. In our ever-connected world, cybersecurity has assumed unprecedented importance. We have observed a rising severity in online threats, with potential impacts on both public and private sectors worldwide, especially when critical infrastructure, such as national utilities and financial institutions, is targeted. With the increasing use of advanced technology, we have also witnessed instances of compromised online data and various scams affecting the Thai populace. The heightened participation in this year's competition is a promising sign, indicative of the ample resources at our disposal for advancing our national cybersecurity and aligning it with global standards," Prasert Chantararuangthong added.

AVM. Amorn Chomchoey, Secretary General, the National Cyber Security Agency, said, "We have observed a shortage of IT talents worldwide, making it a top priority for the NCSA to nurture expertise in this field and elevate our national cybersecurity standards. We are committed to enhancing public awareness of online threats and actively collaborate with esteemed global partners such as Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. to organise public events aimed at fostering this knowledge. This year marks the successful third consecutive edition of 'Thailand Cyber Top Talent,' a testament to our joint efforts. We also have several partners who have joined us in this endeavour, including TB-CERT, SOSECURE, Secure-D Center, McAiden, IT Select Lab, KTB Redteam, Group-IB, X-10, AML, Secureinfo, Nexwave, logrythm, metro, akamai, GovernTrust, MFEC, Bangkok energy, Mayaseven, TECHPIXEL, goipnow, etc. Together, we share a common mission: to provide a comprehensive knowledge platform in the realm of cybersecurity and contribute to Thailand's ambition of becoming an online-threat-free nation in the future."

David Li, CEO, Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. has shared his views that "The rapid pace of technological advancement brings a myriad of online security threats, leaving our information vulnerable and potentially inflicting significant costs on our economy and society. Robust online safety policies are not an option but a necessity for organisations to shield against these looming threats. Huawei, committed to supporting Thailand's digital transformation, prioritises the nurturing of IT talents. We recognise the critical role of cybersecurity and closely collaborate with our partners across sectors to enhance knowledge in online security. This year, 'Cyber Top Talent 2023 Hacker Weekend' joins our array of programmes aimed at bolstering cybersecurity awareness in Thailand. We anticipate this event will help increase the skills that are necessary for the next generation of professionals and help strengthen the technological ecosystem of the country. This is in line with our 'Grow in Thailand, Contribute to Thailand' mission. We aim to cultivate a new generation of skilled professionals to ensure Thailand's cybersecurity readiness."

The final round divided into three categories - High school, University, and General public. The 30 participating teams had competed in the CTF Jeopardy under the "Attack the virtual World" theme. The participants needed to hunt for answers on Hosts' devices, Client devices, and other devices amidst ongoing cyberattacks. They need to strive to find traces and answers from the infected Hosts. The event included various experts in related fields to unveil insights such as hacker tricks, how unauthorised apps can swipe money from your bank, and tips on password protection for safer online experiences. The session also featured the showcase by over 16 leading online security companies. More than 16 top online security companies also showcased their works and products. The official result of the competition would be published on NCSA Thailand's Facebook Page.

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