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Varsity hosts hackathon

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HACKATHON: A two-day IT security summit and hackathon will be taking place at the Sol Plaatje University (SPU) this week.

WITH an eye on combating the global shortage of experts in cyber security, an IT security summit and hackathon will be taking place at the Sol Plaatje University (SPU) this week.

This two-day event, hosted by the Nort

hern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), in partnership with Geekculcha and SPU, begins at 11am this morning and aims to generate more interest and awareness of information security while further developing skills by providing a platform for peer learning.

“The demand for expertise is rising as companies realise that their current information security strategies are insufficient,” explained Mohau Girruite from DEDAT.

“Essentially, the hackathon is a software development competition. We are expecting between 40 and 50 participants with various backgrounds who all have an interest in security in IT.”

The Kimberley leg of the summit is an extension of the ITWeb Security Summit, which gets under way in Midrand today, where various organisations will be collaborating on an event where roughly 500 role-players will be interacting on ways to make cyberspace safer and protecting private information.

The main hackathon, in Gauteng, will accommodate 30 people at Vodacom World in Midrand while the Kimberley edition of the hackathon will be managed by Geekculcha and local entrepreneurs from the Diamond Creative Vision Hub.

The event will commence at 11am this morning and will run until 1pm tomorrow.

#SS17Hack Midrand and Kimberley will be broadcast live to each other, in order to give a sense of concurrency, although each hackathon will have its own judging process.

For more information, contact Rod Grewan on 082 380 7746.

Cyberattacks remain a global threat with malicious programs wreaking havoc on computers and networks around the world.

Yesterday saw the worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack continue to spread to thousands more users, disrupting businesses, schools and households.

The damage from this cyberattack is being felt in 150 countries while it remains unclear whether more malicious variations of the online extortion scheme will appear.

The initial attack, known as “WannaCry,” paralysed computers running factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in scores of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, India and Japan, among others.

Among those hit were Russia’s Interior Ministry and companies including Spain’s Telefonica and FedEx Corp. in the US.

Carmaker Renault said one of its French plants, which employs 3 500 people, wouldn’t reopen yesterday as technicians dealt with the cyberattack’s aftermath. The temporary halt in production was a “preventative step”, Renault said.

Britain’s National Health Service said about a fifth of NHS trusts – the regional bodies that run hospitals and clinics – were hit by the attack on Friday, leading to thousands of cancelled appointments and operations.

Seven of the 47 affected trusts were still having IT problems yesterday.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, has warned that more computers could be infected as doctors’ practices reopened after the weekend.