Friday, 18 October 2019 11:25

Hackathon generates leads on missing persons cases Featured

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Hackathon generates leads on missing persons cases Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Participants in a national Missing Persons Hackathon have generated 3,912 leads for 12 national missing person cases for Australian police.

This is the largest number of leads collected in a single event hosted by the Trace Labs capture the flag (CTF) platform, with the hackathon held in Canberra last week.

Adelaide team SaabAU placed first, submitting 97 pieces of information during the hackathon.

And in second place was Sydney team Accenture with 89 submissions, followed by Melbourne team Hiddenagenda with 85 submissions.

“The success of the National Missing Persons Hackathon exceeded all of our expectations. Not only did the event generate high quality leads on missing person cases, it showcased the diverse elements of cyber security, cyber skills and the people who hold them,” said Linda Cavanagh, Manager of the Canberra Cyber Security Innovation Node.

“This event was certainly a game changer, demonstrating the enormous value of crowdsourcing OSINT to police as a complementary method to their investigations.”

The AustCyber Canberra Cyber Security Innovation Node partnered with the Australian Federal Police, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre and Trace Labs to deliver the event - Australia’s first large scale national missing persons hackathon in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.

In the event the ethical hackers and investigators used online investigative techniques within the bounds of the law to find new leads on real missing persons cases in Australia – using their cyber skills to gather open source intelligence (OSINT) on long-term missing persons using only information that is publicly available on the internet.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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