International Asia Cybersecurity competition for females in Singapore, CTF creates opportunity and diversity

Cybersecurity competition for females in Singapore, CTF creates opportunity and diversity



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The Women of Security Singapore (WoSEC) and HackTheBox collaborated to run The First CTF (Capture-The-Flag) CTF For Girls, a one-day cybersecurity hacking competition held at ICE71 in Singapore on 13 Jul, 2019.

Together with Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and industry sponsors, this  contest for girls enables participants to learn, train and test cyber security skills.

Magda Chelly, Managing Director of Responsible Cyber and WoSEC Singapore founder adds: “This event will be for all girls and women; cyber security professionals and enthusiasts, who want to have a fun, enjoyable, intellectually stimulating day through a Capture-The-Flag event. It will inspire and motivate younger talent to discover the cyber security space and relate to industry role models. The event will showcase available talents, allowing organizations in the future to bring diversity into their teams.”

This move focuses on shaping and motivating the current and next generation of information security professionals, especially females who are underrepresented in this area.

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The first CTF for girls inspires, motivates, and encourages them to test their skills, try new challenges, and interact with like-minded professionals.

The organisers hope to boost diversity in Singapore’s cybersecurity community and give them the ability to learn, train, network, participate and share knowledge through a fun and interactive full day of hacking.

This will secure the future cyber-security talent pool and ensure national cyber readiness.

CSA, WoSEC, CyLon/ICE71, Micro Focus, RSA, Yogosha, BSides Singapore, WWCode (Women Who Code) Singapore and HackTheBox are supporting the First CTF for Girls in Singapore.

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On 13 Jul, 2019, the WoSEC CTF For Girls Competition Day is taking an interest in the infosec community.

Working females and have been approached to tackle different security challenges on HackTheBox machines, including general vulnerabilities and specific technical weaknesses present within the machine’s operating systems and various applications.

Cryptography, Linux security, database security, web vulnerabilities and orders security controls on overall servers are the essential skills required.

The CTF winners have been spoiled by the sponsors and partners, with amazing gifts:

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Photo: CTF

  • 1st Winner – Ms Chor Jia Yee: 12 000 USD MS Azure Credits, 3 Month Pro Lab Ticket (Offshore or RastaLabs, winner’s choice) (250GBP Value), 1 BSides Singapore Entry Ticket, Jacq Leigh Laptop Bag, One-Hour Coaching Session and a recognized industry certification exam voucher with Responsible Cyber

Photo: CTF

  • 2nd Winner – Ms Chia Le Jing : 12 000 USD MS Azure Credits, 2 Month Pro Lab Ticket (Offshore or RastaLabs, winner’s choice) (170GBP Value), 1 BSides Singapore Entry Ticket, One-Hour Coaching Session with Responsible Cyber

Photo: CTF

  • 3rd Winner – Ms Zheng Jia Wen : 12 000 USD MS Azure Credits, 1 Year VIP (100GBP Value), 1 BSides Singapore Entry Ticket

Reuben Sinclair, Cyber Security Director for Asia Pacific and Japan at Micro Focus, said “It’s a fact that in cyber security, we have both a gender gap and skills gaps, in fact we are facing a critical global skills shortage of 1.8 million roles by 2022. In this region, in Singapore there is a shortfall of between 2000 to 3500 employees over the next three years. We need to address that gap, together, as an industry by using all of the available resource pool and to me, it just makes sense that in bridging the gender gap, we help to address the overall skills gap. We are also competing with other disciplines from the emerging graduate talent pool, so we have to evangelise to graduates that not only is cyber security engaging, exciting and rewarding, but that they have a significant contribution to make.”

Post The CTF For Girls Engagement Activities

After the first event, WoSEC Singapore will have events organised at least twice a year inviting more women to attend and build their interest of technical cyber security areas like ethical hacking, using it as a viable and interesting career opportunity.

Industry-recognised certifications like Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)  can be achieved by women in Singapore through CTFs.

Selwyn Sean Scharnhorst, Director, Ecosystem Development Division, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore has also given his support, quoting: “CSA is glad to support Women of Security (WoSEC) Singapore’s first Capture-the-Flag for Girls. Women are underrepresented in the technology sector and such efforts help. Cyber threats are growing in scale and sophistication, and Singapore needs talented and passionate people – women and men – working together in strong and diverse teams to tackle this complex issue.”

Photo: CTF

Congratulations to the winners of the first Capture-the-Flag Competition for Girls! We hope that such competitions will interest and encourage more women to join the cybersecurity industry. 

Photo: CTF

(From L-R) Ms Lim Shin Yi, Senior Assistant Director of CSA’s Ecosystem Development Division; Ms Magda Chelly, Managing Director of Responsible Cyber Pte Ltd; Ms Zheng Jia Wen, 3rd place winner; Ms Chia Le Jing, 2nd place winner; Ms Chor Jia Yee, 1st place winner and Mr Reuben Sinclair, Director Cybersecurity Asia Pacific and Japan of Micro Focus.

Congratulations to the top 3 individuals and the winners of the special categories ‘Hacker on the Fly’, ‘Rising Hacker’ and ‘Newcomer’!

Photo: CTF

Ms Sim Ann 沈颖, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth – MCCY dropped by the first Capture-the-Flag Competition for Girls to show her support. She highlighted that women are under-represented in the ICT industry and lauded these efforts to encourage more women to join the industry.

Photo: CTF


The biggest #sponsor – Micro Focus which supported the initiative for the #First #CTF For #Girls in #Singapore in an absolutely amazing way, providing all the required to ensure a well-prepared and friendly platform for the girls to enjoy the competition.

Photo: CTF

Reuben gave some overview of the organisation’s capabilities “Microfocus is a British software engineering  with four main portfolios, Security, Risk & GovernanceEnterprise Dev Ops, Hybrid IT Management and Predictive Analytics. So focussing on the security portfolio – we help our customers with Breach Defence and . Our solutions cover all phases of the NIST Cyber Security framework at depth but at a high level we help in three main areas.”

Photo: CTF


Sponsors, supporters and volunteers:

Hack The Box is an platform to test and advance your skills in penetration testing and cyber security.

Yogosha is a bug bounty platform.

The Muffinry, a restaurant bar in Singapore on Telok Ayer Street provided amazing home-made lunch boxes for the attendees of #The #First #CTF For Girls in Singapore.

RSA Security team came to support the event #The #First #CTF For Girls in Singapore, with Jade Koh

BSides Singapore team has been fantastic, supporting the initiative and helping the CTF attendees, with technical questions or clarifications.

With @Sanoop Thomas

#Security #BSides is a community-driven #framework for building events for and by #information #security community members. Started from 2009 in Las Vegas, these events are happening all around the world in all major cities with a goal to expand the spectrum of conversation beyond the traditional confines of space and time.

BSides Singapore hold on to the same original values and responsible for an approved independent BSides event. Singapore is much more than the sum of its world-famous numerous attractions. Capitalising on its melting pot of cultures, this small island is constantly evolving, reinventing, and reimagining itself, with people who are passionate about creating new possibilities.

BSides on the 24th of September 2018 –

ICE71 and CyLon have supported the First #CTF For Girls, providing space and breakfast. Absolutely great team with Linda Nguyen Schindler !.

Congratulations to the #winner of the special category Rising #Hacker at the #First #Capture-the-Flag #Competition for #Girls.

Supported by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (#CSA) and Info-Communications Media Development Authority(#IMDA), ICE71 runs a range of programmes designed to support #cybersecurity individuals and start-ups from idea development to the creation, acceleration and scaling of cybersecurity start-ups. ICE71 Inspire and ICE71 Accelerate are run by CyLon, Europe’s leading cybersecurity accelerator and active investor in early stage cybersecurity start-ups.

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