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KIOS researchers win competition at the 2017 Cyber Security Congress


A 3-member team from the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence won the first place in the “Capture the Drone – CFT Game” which took place at the Cyber Security Congress 2017 hosted by KPMG Cyprus. The Game involved several teams competing to take control of a drone by penetrating a company’s server, stealing credentials and decrypting data with the use of various “hacking” tools and methods. All these have been carried out in a simulated VPN environment which has been designed by KPMG Netherlands Cyber Security Department and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

The 3-member KIOS team comprised of Petros Petrides, Odysseas Economides, and Philokypros Ioulianou. The workshop was a hands-on technical exercise where participants were required to demonstrate their technical skills in circumventing security mechanisms and taking control of the drone. Technical knowledge was required for all the participants and invited participants included University students with technical background and junior ethical hackers.

During the 7-hour competition, the KIOS CoE team was the only team which succeeded in taking control of the drone and changing the administrator password to prevent other teams from accessing the server! More specifically, in this drone-inspired CTF game the teams were given the task of hacking their way through “Drone International’s” company network to reach the Drone Controller, gaining access to the company’s newest drone, and landing it on a nearby field, where accomplices were waiting to steal it. In this exercise, as Drone International also employed sophisticated tracking equipment, powered by their own generation plant, the teams had to shut down the plant as well, to ensure that they would evade capture!

The KIOS CoE is currently delivering a number of research- and technology-based projects involving the development of autonomous drones which can be utilized for emergency response, security, and safety missions. Researchers at KIOS have the opportunity to develop relevant expertise through a number of EU-funded projects that have/are being implemented at the Center including PREDICATE and Swifters, focusing on the development of drone technologies for emergency response.