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HackForGov: DICT holds ‘ethical hacking’ contest in Bicol

By Danica Caballero

LEGAZPI CITY --- To further engage the youth in cybersecurity and address the surge of hacking incidents in the country, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) through its National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-PH) spearheaded its HackForGov Capture-the-Flag competition in the Bicol region on September 21, 2023.

At least 10 teams composed of students from different universities and colleges faced up to the challenge on cybersecurity, cryptography, exploit, investigation, programming, web, network security and others.

“Ang pinaka-purpose po ng HackForGov ng DICT is para ma-encourage natin yung mga student na mag-practice ng cyber security profession dito sa Pilipinas,” Whichel Ann Villagomez, information officer of cybersecurity bureau, said. (The purpose of DICT’s HackForGov is to encourage students to practice cyber security profession in the Philippines.)

Villagomez emphasized that the DICT aims to encourage Filipino youth to venture into ‘ethical hacking’ and into the in-demand field of cybersecurity which will help increase the number of cyber-experts in the country.

“Ang connotation ng hacking is negative, so gusto natin na hikayatin ang ating students na hindi naman masama ang pag-hack kung tamang direksyon ang pupuntahan nila. Huwag sila doon sa hacking na na-iinvolve sa cybercrime,” she said. (The connotation of hacking is negative, so we want to show students that it is not bad when you go to the right path. They should not engage in hacking that amounts to cybercrime.)

BU students off to national HackForGov competition

For the Bicol leg of the competition, team Initiatex from Bicol University (BU) emerged as the HackForGov champion. Initiatex will represent the region in the national level of the competition.

The runners-up were the Yamazaki Clan from Computer Communication Development Institute – Legazpi (CCDI-Legazpi) and the AdUN’tKnow team from the Ateneo de Naga University.

Arold Hernandez Bellen from CCDI-Legazpi will also advance to the national round as the wild card after having the highest score of 1,050 points in the competition.

“HackForGov was a really good experience since we were exposed to different tools and we actually strengthened our team work because of this,” Menchie Belarmino, BU information technology student said.

The overall champion of the National HackForGov will represent the Philippines in the ASEAN-Japan Cyber SEA Games 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand next November. (PIA5/DDC)

A total of 10 teams from different universities and colleges join the HackForGov in Bicol. (PIA5/DDC)


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