CTF (Capture the Flag) self-upskilling allows her to put her talents to the test in a real-world environment
Eliminating gender stereotypes, closing the gender gap in the Information Technology (IT) industry, and promoting creativity are all part of what it means to be a woman in Tech industry.
Anyway we look at it, a more gender-diverse workforce is beneficial for any business or company, and because of this reason; Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) Cybersecurity student, Chang Shiau Huei entered the Wicked 6 Cyber Games, 2023 Women’s Global Cyber League to test her skills in a real-world setting.
The Wicked 6 Cyber Games, 2023 Women’s Global Cyber League is an international competition for women to take part in cyber games like capture the flag (CTF) competitions made up of nine different CTFs and sponsored by eight prestigious organisations, including the U.S. Cyber Range of Virginia Tech, Meta CTF, CyberTalents, Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, Haiku Inc, Security Innovation, SANS, and InspireTech.
Participants in this cyber league, regardless of their level of experience — whether they are novices or seasoned professionals looking to expand their knowledge and expertise — have the chance to test their critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills in a motivating and encouraging environment, which will help them gain confidence and expand their network of peers and cybersecurity industry experts.
Shiau Huei, who is also the Vice President of APU Forensic & Security Research Center Student Section (FSEC-SS), was first hesitant to join this league, but her mentors, Ms Nor Azlina Abdul Rahman and Ms Noris Ismail, encouraged her and showed confidence in her skills and capabilities.
Armed with confidence, she proceeded to the Women’s Global Cyber League, which features a variety of mixed challenges from several security categories, including forensics, open-source intelligence (OSINT), cryptography, reverse engineering, online exploitation, and more.
To her credit, Shiau Huei managed to compete in 5 out of 9 cyber games, taking 1st Place for Women's Society of CyberJutsu (WSC) CTF, 2nd Place in the Haiku CTF and Security Innovation CTF, 7th Place in the SANS Bootup CTF, and finishing the BREACH TTX InspireTech Cyber Game alone, while defeating nearly 3,000 participants!
Her main motivation for joining Wicked 6 Cyber Games, 2023 Women’s Global Cyber League is to acquire new skills in several CTF categories such as web exploitation, cryptography, forensics, OSINT, reverse engineering, boot 2 roots, and others.
“It is not easy to participate in a competition like this because I have to stay awake for the entire 24 hours, but it is fun and teaches me a lot, especially when I finish one CTF and move on to the next.
“Another reason I joined Wicked 6 Cyber Games, 2023 Women’s Global Cyber League is that I did not take CTF Strategies elective module, and to help build my fundamentals; competitions like these definitely help or relate to my studies because it is putting the skills and technique that I learned into practise, rather than just studying it by theory.
“It also improves my comprehension of the specific category and scripting skills. Some of the evaluation questions I knew how to answer for my internship were due to my time spent playing CTF, so it definitely helps in the long run,” she explained.
Shiau Huei’s success story should inspire and encourage others to participate in the Wicked 6 Cyber Games, Women’s Global Cyber League next year in supporting women and girls in the tech industry.