Cybersecurity: Ethical Hacking at TELECOM Nancy with the Proximus Cup

On April 22, TELECOM Nancy co-organized with the company Proximus Luxembourg the “Proximus Cup”: a CTF (Capture The Flag) type event dedicated to cybersecurity. Objective: to enable engineering students to put into practice and develop their skills for researching and preventing computer security vulnerabilities.

This CTF focused on pentesting (intrusion testing) involved around forty 2nd year students engaged in the cybersecurity and embedded systems specialties at TELECOM Nancy.
Through the resolution of different challenges, the “ethical hackers” apprentices had the mission of looking for vulnerabilities on a computer system in order to secure it.

An immersive and cyber-physical exercise

This year’s challenge focused on the theme of energy: the students aimed, among other things, to restore power lines that had been cut by malicious hackers.

Electrical cabinet used during exercise

Rémi Badonnel, teacher responsible for the Cybersecurity center at TELECOM Nancy and researcher at Loria / Inria Nancy Grand Est, explains: “Exercises such as this CTF are a strong point in the training of students in cybersecurity. They allow them to be immersed on virtual and physical infrastructures where they are confronted with real subjects, such as here regaining control over industrial automation to restore power lines. This complements everything that is done elsewhere in the training, and in general the students appreciate it. a lot.”

A student confirms: “It’s an exercise that is very “challenging”! We find ourselves in a situation where we don’t know precisely what we have to do; we have to find ideas; it’s never the same and we discover new things all the time!”

A professional platform for training cybersecurity experts

For more than 10 years, TELECOM Nancy has been developing and enriching its cybersecurity center for the training of experts: diversified engineering courses including a new specialized apprenticeship course in cyber which will open at the start of the 2024 school year; reference platform equipped in particular with professional Airbus and Diateam cyber ranges; industrial partnerships like here with Proximus, European projects such as Erasmus+ Rewire; international MOOCs; numerous cyber events: capture the flag, war games, hackathons, escape games, etc.

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