Category: Events

SANReN Cyber Security Challenge 2017: Round one completed

During 2017 the South African National Research Network (SANReN) initiated the Cyber Security Games project which was aimed at establishing the hosting of an information security student competition with an emphasis on network security.

The project was conceptualised to create a platform for students to compete in real-time during the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) National Conference 2017. The real-time competition will consist of the following:

  • The challenge will test the problem-solving skills of participating teams by requiring them to complete tasks in penetration testing, incident response, digital forensics and cryptography;
  • An attack/defence system for team vs team battles. The systems used consists of dedicated pre-configured hardware and software. In the attack/defence competition, the teams have to hack each other, but also fix vulnerabilities in their own applications (by means of source code changes); and
  • Independently manned scoring system.

Due to the high interest received from students, the competition has been split into two rounds.

During the first round, students competed for positions to compete in the final round to be hosted at the CHPC National Conference 2017. Over one hundred students from seven universities competed in the first round that was hosted during October 2017.

For the first round, the students had to solve network security problems and identify security issues such as:

  • Decrypting Passwords;
  • Geo-locating pictures;
  • Solving password hashes;
  • Securing Web sites;
  • Finding information from TCP traffic; and
  • Extracting weak security keys.

From the first round only 32 students comprising eight teams have been placed to compete in the second and final round that will span four days from the 3rd to 6th December 2017.

Dr Renier van Heerden, project manager for the Cyber Security Games project had the following to say ”The Cyber Security Games expose students to an environment where they are confronted by real-time cyber adversaries. They have to adapt their theoretical information security knowledge to keep systems secure in real time. Additionally, they can also learn how bad guys attack networks in order to better defend cyber infrastructure in the future.”

Overall the Cybersecurity Challenge aims to stimulate interest in information and cyber security with computer networks by presenting students with challenges that replicate real-world scenarios.

This challenge was initiated by the SANReN Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) as part of its mission to reduce information security incidents in South Africa particularly through awareness and training activities. For more information on other CSIRT initiatives please visit

The eventual aim is to be able to sponsor the winning student team to compete at an appropriate international competition, such as the European Cyber Security Challenge.

For more information about the Cyber Security Challenge 2017 please contact:

Registration open for the Operating Innovative Networks Virtual Workshop

Completely Online Event Offers Hands-on Training in SDN, Science DMZ, DTNs, perfSONAR, and Science Engagement

Date: 21-22 June 2017

Available completely online!

Connection information will be shared with registered attendees. Please share with members of your campus community!

No registration fee!!

Register here:

ESnet, Indiana University, and Internet2 are hosting a completely virtual version of the Operating Innovative Networks (OIN) workshop on June 21-22 2017. The series is designed to help lab and campus network engineers deploy next-gen research networks that can effectively support data-intensive science. Sessions will be available throughout the day on the topics typically presented in an in-person workshop, but will be modified for the virtual audience. Due to timezone considerations, the presentations will run between 6am EDT and 6pm EDT over the two days, and will also be recorded for future use.

The workshop will consist of 2-days of material for building and deploying Science DMZs, Software Defined Networks, perfSONAR, Data Transfer Nodes, and Science Engagement. The content will be particularly useful for NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure awardees that are being funded to upgrade their networks with these technologies, or those looking to prepare for the next CC* solicitation. By the end of the event, attendees will have a better understanding of the requirements for supporting scientific use of the network, architectural strategies that can simplify these interactions, and knowledge of tools that can mitigate problems users may encounter.

For complete information on the program and registration details, visit:

This workshop will be completely online, but we are asking participants to register so we can share information about connectivity and materials.

Questions about this workshop can be directed to:

SANReN Data Transfer & Operating Innovative Networks Workshops – 3 May 2017 (Cape Town) / 4 May 2017 (Pretoria)


(please pass on to colleagues who may be interested and apologies if you receive multiple copies)

Dear beneficiaries and partners

You are cordially invited to attend one of two workshops on

Data Transfer & Operating Innovative Networks

Presented by: Jason Zurawski (LBL/ESnet), Scott Chevalier (Indiana University International Networks) and the SANReN Performance Enhancement Response Team (PERT)

What? This workshop will offer presentations and demonstrations of the science DMZ architecture, data transfer nodes (DTNs), data transfer tools (like GridFTP and Globus) and perfSONAR for network performance measurement and monitoring. “Combined, these technologies are proven to support high-performance, big data science applications, while ensuring the security and availability that modern campuses and laboratories need”1. By the end of the event, attendees will have a better understanding of the requirements for supporting the scientific use of the network, architectural strategies that can simplify these interactions and knowledge of tools that can mitigate problems users may encounter. Detailed agenda attached.

3 May 2017 – eResearch Conference at University of Cape Town [R500pp; limited sponsorships available from SANReN for selected, eligible beneficiaries]
4 May 2017 – Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Pretoria [free for SANReN beneficiaries / TENET customers]

Who should attend?
a. IT network engineers/technicians from universities, science councils and supporting institutions interested in optimising the network; eResearch / science engagement officers; researchers and scientists with big data transfer needs/challenges.
b. Eligible beneficiaries interested in participating in a SANReN science DMZ and/or DTN proof of concept.

Register here: by 18 April 2017

(Note: Pretoria workshop is free to attend for NREN beneficiaries/customers; Cape Town workshop is R500 – motivation for SANReN sponsorship (for selected, eligible beneficiaries) is included in registration)


For more information: