A team from Australia's Joint Task Force 633 (JTF633) in the Middle East placed third in the region and sixth overall in this year’s Cyber Warrior Challenge held from December 1-2.

The team, made up of members of JTF633's Theatre Security Operations Centre and Theatre Communications Element, competed against more than 35 coalition and regional teams in the event, which included categories ranging from web and network security through to reverse engineering and digital forensics.

The teams completed challenges such as zip-file cracking, secret message discovery and effectively using Structured Query Language.

The JTF633 team was made up of Flight Lieutenant Kaitlyn Lyons, Joel Palmer, Corporals Aaron Bartlett and Mitchell Webster, and Leading Aircraftman Benjamin Lewis.

Flight Lieutenant Lyons said a benefit of the competition was the reinforcement of the relationships between United States Army Central, coalition and regional partner cybersecurity personnel.

“It is safe to say that the level of skill and threat awareness among some of the prime players here in the Middle East has been raised,” Flight Lieutenant Lyons said.

Corporal Bartlett said while the team’s results in the competition were an achievement, linking with other specialists across the region was a highlight.

“Being able to come together with people I normally would not have had the opportunity to work with, while learning to apply a diverse range of skills and abilities to solve problems co-operatively, was a great experience,” Corporal Bartlett said.