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Competition details

CyberTaipan rules and requirements of entry.

CyberTaipan is an Australian Youth Cyber Defence Competition for teams of high school aged students. Take your first step into cyber security, try new challenges and gain experience in defensive techniques

In summary

How does the competition work?

Each team competes in a series of online competition rounds by fixing vulnerabilities, hardening systems, and performing other tasks related to networking, cyber defence and cyber security.

Teams compete for a six consecutive-hour period within the Friday to Sunday times and dates designated for each of the two rounds (see Competition Dates). This period begins when the team’s first virtual machine image is opened. Teams should not compete outside of competition windows, as the scoring server is unavailable to receive team scores.

The ten highest scoring teams, totalled across the two scored online rounds, will be invited to compete in the live National Final – a virtual event held at the beginning of Term 4, 2021.

Team organisation

CyberTaipan teams consist of the following team members:

Team coach

CyberTaipan coaches are the backbone of the competition. CyberTaipan requires an adult to register as a team coach before any students are permitted to register or compete. Coaches are adults (e.g. teachers, parents, staff members) approved by a participating school or educational organisation to act as the administrative lead of a CyberTaipan team. Having one, and only one, adult coach on record for each team is a non-negotiable requirement.

Coaches do not need to be technically savvy, as teams are welcome to work with technical mentors as described below, but all coaches are responsible for the following:

Competitors

All competitors must be high school-aged students within Australia. Each CyberTaipan team must consist of between two and six competitors enrolled in the participating school, organisation, or community group.

While up to six students are permitted on each team’s roster, a maximum of five students are permitted to compete at any one time during a competition round. The competitor not competing may act as a substitute and cannot assist the active competitors.

A team’s registered reserve competitor may be substituted for any of the participating competitors at the coach’s discretion. A reserve competitor may only be substituted into their registered team; they cannot join any of the other teams from their school or organisation.

A competitor shall compete on only one team during a CyberTaipan season. If a Coach has multiple teams registered for the competition competitors may not be shuffled between teams during and/or between rounds.

Technical mentor(s)

Technical mentors are professionals with experience in IT and/or cybersecurity who volunteer their time to teach cyber defence skills and cyber ethics to CyberTaipan teams. All mentors are required to register on the CyberTaipan website and successfully complete a Working with Vulnerable People Check (or relevant state equivalent) and an Australian Federal Police Check before being added to the list of approved mentors. All mentors must be over the age of 18 years.

Mentors must not teach hacking skills or offensive cyber tactics to competitors and will meet with a team only with the coach’s approval. One or more registered mentors may be chosen by a coach to assist in training their CyberTaipan team(s). Teams are not required to have a mentor. CyberTaipan mentors are welcome to assist multiple teams. There is no minimum time commitment for mentors. For example, a mentor can volunteer on a guest lecture basis or commit to training a team throughout the competition season.

Suggested responsibilities include the following:

Team assistant(s)

Team assistants are adult volunteers who provide non-technical support and encouragement to the team, such as assisting with scheduling, set-up, snacks, and transportation. Team assistants are required to register on the CyberTaipan website and successfully complete a Working with Vulnerable People Check (or relevant state equivalent) and Australian Federal Police Check before being added to the list of approved assistants.

Before the round

During the round

After the round