Cybersecurity competitions for students organised by the Estonian Safer Internet Centre

The Tallinn University of Technology is a part of the Estonian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) consortium and regularly carries out cybersecurity competitions for students. 

Date 2023-02-02 Author Estonian Safer Internet Centre Section awareness Topic cyberbullying, data privacy, e-crime Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals
Official graphic design of the Estonian cybersecurity competition

In October 2022, Birgy Lorenz, who works at the Tallinn University of Technology and is a member of the Estonian SIC team, was awarded the second place in the Estonian Science Communication Award for her activities in communicating science and technology. 

A picture of Birgy Lorenz on a colourful background. Birgy works at the Tallinn University of Technology. Credits: Estonian SIC

Since 2017, cybersecurity competitions for students have been carried out by the Tallinn University of Technology. In 2017-2022 altogether, more than 90,000 tests have been taken in these events. 

  • CyberPin (KüberNööpnõel) – annual testing activity for 7-12-year-old students about logic, crypto, and IT problem-solving challenges. The last testing session took place from February to March 2022. Exercises covered different topics: Be careful! (simple sentence calculation or graphs), Messy technique, Picture puzzles, Riddles (cryptography) and Hide and seek. More than 5,600 students took part in the test this year. 
  • CyberCracker (KüberPähkel) - annual awareness study on 10-15-year-old students´ digital safety. CyberCracker's main study runs every autumn (October to November). In 2022, more than 9,000 students from 168 schools participated in the main survey, which was carried out as an online event. The subjects of the research were background systems related to informatics and ICT learning, distance learning and data protection, digital safety behaviour and technical knowledge and competences, and solving various cases. 
  • CyberDrill (KüberPuuring) – it is an annually held CaptureTheFlag (CTF) competition that consists of school rounds and national rounds for 12-18-year-old students. CTF aims for beginner-level cybersecurity talents, and especially girls, to emerge in the IT field. The test includes background questions and different level tasks to be solved. In 2022, around 2,500 students from 117 schools participated in the event.  

The students worked hard to solve the problems, and they learned a lot about different cyber security challenges. In this way, students become more aware of the risks and how to protect their data, and they also developed new skills and strategies for staying safe online.  

The results of the above-mentioned cybersecurity testing events are being used by the Estonian Safer Internet Centre to plan relevant awareness-raising activities and compile awareness-raising resources for the target groups and to develop the Estonian informatics curriculum and materials.  

For students that would like to practice solving tasks and exercises related to cybersecurity, the Estonian SIC provides the website, where children and parents and teachers can all find useful exercises to raise their digital competences in the field of cybersecurity. More than 110 exercises in various levels are available today.  

Homepage of the website provided by the Estonian SIC with useful material for children, parents and teachers on cybersecurity. Credits: Estonian SIC

Find more information about the work of the Estonian Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.    

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