The cost of living crisis has hit Britain hard, with ordinary people struggling to make ends meet. With industrial action the norm and a government struggling to cope with sustained economic challenges, the stability of Pound Sterling offered an attractive target to malicious oligarchs seeking to recoup the damages of sanctions following the Ukrainian invasion.
By exploiting ever-present Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities, an attack is launched against the British welfare benefits payment system to destabilise the pound. Will societal discontent snap in the winter? How much pressure can pound sterling endure on the market? And what type of precedent does an oligarch collective set in waging their own brand of offensive cyber operations against nation states?
The 2023 scenario challenged student teams to engage with the possibility of known oligarch actors who choose to adopt cyber attack methods for their own ends. The narrative included an attack on the benefits payment system in the UK, with societal effects stretching far beyond the lines of code within British government department.
Meet the Winners
Durham University, University of Edinburgh, University of St Andrews
University College London
King's College London
Most Engaged Award: Wicked Cyber. Warwick University
Best Verbal Presentation: Krack-In Security. Durham University, University of Edinburgh, University of St Andrews
Best Decision Document: Purple Falcons. University College London
Most Creative Policy Response: Psyber. University College London
Best Teamwork: Blue Team Swansea. Swansea University