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British amateur named world's top civilian cyber defender in hacking challenge staged by the U.S. militaryChris Doman from Essex lost out only to a professionals team from U.S. defence giant Northrop GrummanHe is one of three UK competitors who placed in the top 12 of the global competition held by U.S. Department of DefenseNow he is eligible to take part in the next round of face to face competitions held by Cyber Security Challenge UK
14:02 GMT, 24 December 2012
World's top civilian cyber defender: Chris Doman, 26, from Essex finished second overall in the 2012 Digital Forensics Challenge
A British software developer has been named the world's top civilian computer security expert in a competition run by the U.S military.
Chris Doman, 26, from Essex finished as the highest-ranked civilian and second overall in the 2012 Digital Forensics Challenge, held by the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Centre.
He beat competition from almost 2,000 cyber defenders from 53 countries, losing out only to a professional team from multibillion pound U.S. aerospace and defence firm Northrop Grumman.
The final standings provided further
good news for the health of the country’s home-grown cyber talent pool
as the UK contributed more participants than almost any other country.
Two more British amateurs, Matt Bartlet and Chris Moore, finished in the top 12.
The DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge is
a global competition designed and hosted by the US Department of
Defense Cyber Crime Center.
Considered one of the toughest
forensic competitions in the world, it takes the form of scenario-based
exercises replicating the complexity digital forensics examiners face
extracting and scrutinising data to solve cybercrime.
Areas covered include file signatures, hashing metadata, data hiding, communication recovery, and information concealment.
Chris Doman is a computer science
graduate, a former web developer, and the co-founder of Ignite Research,
a start-up he set up in 2009 with a school friend to tackle various
projects using their software expertise.
Ignite’s latest project, Hotelsweep, represents the world’s largest collection of hotel data collected into a single system.
his obvious talents with information technology, success in the DC3
competition came as a surprise and has prompted him to start applying
for his first job in cyber security.
Mr Doman's success has made him eligible to take part in the Cyber Security Challenge UK: Here a team tackle the challenge in an event this year
HACKER JAILED FOR LEAKING NUDE IMAGES OF SCARLETT JOHANSSON
The man who hacked email accounts belonging to a swath of A-list celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Christopher Chaney, 36, pleaded guilty to nine felony counts earlier this year – including identity theft, wiretapping, and unauthorized access – after he leaked several nude and revealing photos of the women online.
During the sentencing, Chaney was also ordered to pay $76,000 in restitution to Johansson, Aguilera and Renee Olstead.
Chaney, of Jacksonville, Florida, was arrested last October as part of a year-long investigation of celebrity hacking that authorities dubbed 'Operation Hackerazzi.'
He was hunted down by federal agents using a battering ram to his run-down brick home home which he had once shared with his late grandmother.
The depth of his hacking – which kept the unemployed Chaney glued to his computer screen for days at a time – enabled him to witness exchanges between celebrities, their family members and their doctors.
In all he was accused of illegally accessing the private information of around 50 stars with virtually no technical computer training.
a year-long competition but I only decided to enter a month before it
closed so time was a bit of an issue,' Mr Doman said.
'I looked through all 34 challenges and wrote a plan of how to do them all and how long it would take.
all certainly possible to solve but it’s not easy and you have to think
carefully about the time required for each challenge.
'Security has always been an interest.
At school I would publish computer security and operating system design
tutorials. However setting up my own company left me with less time to
pursue this interest.
Cyber Security Challenge has certainly reignited my love for cyber
security and problem solving. I did better than I expected, and it’s
given me a boost to start applying for work in this field.'
Jim Christy, Director of Futures Exploration at the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center said: 'This year’s DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge saw the highest ever number of players and submissions, and a significant increase in the standard of the competition.
'All this makes Chris’s achievement – finishing second as an individual, and beating teams of professionals from some of the largest companies in the world and government’s cyber workforces – all the more remarkable.'
Mr Doman's success in the DC3 competition has also booked him a place to take part in the next competition run by Cyber Security Challenge UK, the Sophos Malware Hunt in January.
There 30 talented amateurs from various virtual first stage Challenge competitions will take on the role of forensics and defence specialists working for the UK Government facing attack from both both cyber criminal gangs and hostile nations.
He will be joined at the Malware Hunt by his fellow top ranked UK candidates from the DC3 competition, IT professional Matt Bartlett, who finished ninth and Chris Moore, a fourth-year student at Durham University, who finished 12th, the highest ranked undergraduate in the world.
Next step: Thirty talented amateurs from various virtual first stage Challenge competitions will take on the role of forensics and defence specialists working for the UK Government
Stephanie Daman, CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: 'Chris’s success in this global competition and the performance of UK competitors more generally is a powerful demonstration of the level of amateur talent we have here in the UK.
'Unfortunately for a profession like cyber security where employers are desperate to find new talent, Chris’s story of an early interest in the subject that wasn’t pursued in later life is worryingly familiar.
'Without the opportunities provided by the competitions like the DC3 Digital Forensics and the Cyber Security Challenge UK, Chris and many others like him will be lost to the profession completely despite their undoubted ability.'