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Raytheon Unveils Cyber Crime Center, Hosts Simulated Cyber Terror Attack

Raytheon Company has unveiled its new £3 million cyber crime fighting center in Gloucester, England which is to house more than 100 of the UK’s top cyber talent across big data, analytics and network defense. These digital defense warriors will develop cyber security mitigation technologies to protect today’s sophisticated computer networks against complex attacks.

Commenting on the Cyber Innovation Center’s capability, Chief Executive ofRaytheon UK Richard Daniel said, “This is the first cyber eco-system of its kind in the UK where industry, customers, partners and academia come together under one roof to solve some of the most complex cyber issues.”

The UK facility joins Raytheon’s global network of cyber centers and will focus on cyber and information assurance projects.

The UK government considers state-sponsored cyber attacks and large-scale cyber crime as a Tier 1 risk to national security. Such sophisticated and targeted attacks could cost the UK economy billions of pounds every year.

The UK’s cyber security sector is now worth over £6 billion, employs around 40,000 people and is expected to reach £2 billion in exports by 2016.

Raytheon UK’s cyber eco-system partners include: principal partner BT, Assuria Computer Network Defence, Dark Trace, ERA-Persides, Esuasive, Exonar, Helyx SIS, Mass, Microsoft, MWR Infosecurity, Nettitude, Technology Management Associates, Zeta Associates, Lancaster University and University of Warwick.

On February 21, Raytheon UK cyber experts hosted a national security mission in which some of the Britain’s finest cyber amateurs competed to prevent a simulated, real-time, cyber-terrorist strike in under 1800 seconds.

Designed by Raytheon to emulate the recent Heartbleed and Shellshock attacks, the sophisticated strike saw cyber amateurs battle to infiltrate a model server system and try to win back control of a large building’s power supply which had brought London’s BT Tower’s revolving observation deck to a standstill. On outsmarting the fictitious hacking group, the BT Tower’s observation deck kicked back into power, signaling the winning team’s success at defending a physical infrastructure against attack.

“We designed this contest to mimic the high-pressure emergency situations that real-world professionals have to deal with, and show gifted people who may just try code-breaking or reverse engineering as a hobby, that their talents are actually vital to the UK economy,” said Raytheon UK’s head of cyber research, Paul Crichard.

The amateur code-breakers, selected from more than nine months of intensive national assessments, were analyzed on their ability to use the cybersecurity industry’s crime-fighting tools, from cryptography to Kali-Linux. Experts from Raytheon UK, GCHQ, the National Crime Agency, BT, C3IA and Airbus Group assessed their mission performance.

The winning team was made up of Adam Tonks, a student at Bournemouth University; Darren Brooke, an IT consultant; Robert Laverick, who runs a software development consultancy; and Steve Haughton, a network manager.

In addition, the ten best performers were invited to take part in the challenge’s grand final – The Masterclass in March. Here finalists from all four of the challenge’s competitions will come together in London to battle each other in the UK’s largest ever simulated cyber attack.

This Raytheon UK challenge is part of a program of competitions the company hosts as part of its sponsorship of the British government-backed Cyber Security Challenge UK, the aim of which is raising awareness of career opportunities for talented young people in a booming cybersecurity industry, and addressing a national cybersecurity talent shortage.

Stephanie Daman, CEO at the Cyber Security Challenge UK, said, “The recent Carbanak attack that plundered global banks shows that the economic cost of cyber crime is continually rising. The resources that UK industry leaders are now investing to attracting new talent through events like these indicate that they are taking the threat to our economy very seriously. The industry is dedicated to finding new ways to address the critical talent shortage across Britain, as we see rising cyber crime posing a threat to UK assets and even critical infrastructure.”

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