Fictitious cyber criminal group feature in new Cyber Security Challenge

Fictitious cyber criminal group feature in new Cyber Security Challenge

The Flag Day Associates: a cyber crime group who have already featured in a threatening online film, whose representatives are masked… And who, lucky, don't actually exist.

The imaginary group are actually part of Opening Lines, a recently launched competition from Cyber Security Challenge UK, which asks ordinary people to try out their digital expertise.

In the Opening Lines competition, which the National Crime Agency (NCA) developed, the public can play their part in looking into some fictitious suspicious emails which are linked to the Flag Day Associates.

The idea is that new security talent will be discovered through the process.

"The aim of the Opening Lines is to test the skills required to investigate cyber crime and the individuals or groups responsible for it. Whether it’s the creation and spread of malicious software, or attempting to steal banking details, those charged with investigating cyber crime need to have the technical ability, knowledge and understanding to defend the UK and its citizens from cyber related attacks," said Adam Kramer of the NCA.

Mr Kramer was responsible for developing Opening Lines, which is just the initial competition of the latest Cyber Security Challenge UK programme of events.

The Flag Day Associates are going to stick around for a year of challenges, as part of a continuing story.

They've already featured in a fictitious online video, part of the Cyber Security Challenge, where three people representing the group and wearing masks gave a warning that a cyber attack against the UK was imminent.

People who enter Opening Lines and get the best rankings will be able to take part in further 'cyber battles', these ones happening on a face-to-face basis at special events. Eventually, a Masterclass final will take place in 2015.

Earlier this month, and very much back squarely in the real world of cybercrime, the NCA predicted that there would be an increase in criminals targeting and compromising networked systems in the UK. This was one central theme in its National Strategic Assessment document.

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