Victoria University students win big at NZ Cyber Security Challenge

Victoria University of Wellington Engineering students took home several awards at the 2018 NZ Cyber Security Challenge, winning nearly $3000 in prizes.

Matt Stevens, a cyber security PhD student from the School of Engineering, led a team of nine students to the challenge, held at Waikato University.

Competitors from high schools, universities, and the cyber security industry travel from across New Zealand (and sometimes the world) to be part of the competition. The competitors face a variety of challenges including hacking drones and creating code to solve cyber security issues.

The top 150 competitors each year are invited to take part in three final challenges. It was from these challenges that Victoria University’s students took home $2850 as well as five drones as prizes.

Student Abigail Koay won the Women in Cyber Security Prize, receiving $700. Jamie McClymont and Rhys Davies also won Rounds One and Two of the Tertiary Category (open to university students), together receiving a cheque for $2100 and a $50 bonus for completing an extra challenge in Round One in the fastest time.

Associate Professor Ian Welch, Programme Director – Cyber security at Victoria University, says:

“Cyber security is about learning how to break stuff so you can build it better. We’re excited about the participation of our students in the Waikato competition and how well they have done. Competitions like this give students the chance to learn in a fun and competitive environment.

“A fun, competitive, and hardworking ethos is exactly the approach we want to see in our current students, and in future students in our new Bachelor of Engineering in Cyber security – the first and only undergraduate cyber security degree in New Zealand.”

The School of Engineering has taken part in this event every year since 2016. Students who are interested in taking part next year should contact Matt Stevens on or Ian Welch on