In general, great hackers are great programmers too

Cybersecurity weekend at Google

For this weekend from 9.-10. March, the Techspark Academy and Google Switzerland joined forces to offer young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of hacking and information security for two days. The workshop introduced the students to the most important basics of cybersecurity through games, puzzles and coding. Murat Abdullin, a Russian student at our bilingual secondary school (SEK I) who has been with us since last September, was encouraged by his house parents to apply and then selected to participate.

"Even as a small child, I was interested in assembling - especially with LEGO," recalls Murat. "I think my parents saw potential in it and wrote to me back then
still in Russia, in a robotics course. There I dealt with Ev3, also known as LEGO MINDSTORMS, a programmable robotics construction set that allows you to
Build, program and control your own LEGO robots. You can program the robots any way you want them to do pretty much anything you do
wish. I competed and always made it to the top three; so I always increased my level. In the following years we were able to use new software and
Programming work and that's how I got to know Arduino. Arduino consists of a programmable board as well as software that can be used to write computer code and upload it to the physical board. I was able to put everything together and wire it up with my own hands and feel like I was in a real hardware workshop. I loved it. After that I also dealt with Linux etc. You understand what I mean - programming and construction have been my passions since childhood and there has been constant further development since the beginning. "

One of the main tasks that Murat particularly enjoyed this weekend was competing in Google's "Capture the Flag". This cybersecurity game was about detecting cyberattacks, investigating them and repelling hackers. Murat worked in a team with four other students, one from Scotland, two from India and one from Germany. They found a chaos of outdated technologies, security (Op-Sec) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which had not been updated for decades and which they had to bring up to date as quickly as possible.

"I tried to learn as much as possible and use my experience to solve our tasks," says Murat. "In general, I enjoy hacking because everything moves so quickly. I mean, if you just compare today's cell phones to those from before 20
Comparing years, you can see the great progress. That's the great thing about programming and hacking - you can do anything with it, your imagination knows no bounds. "

One goal of Techspark Academy is to improve the digital skills of Swiss school children with the support of experienced instructors from ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne. They are convinced that dealing with the latest technologies early on is the best way to prepare children for their future - and that too
Murat shares.

"I'm very interested in mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science and I am convinced that all future jobs will be related to these areas. I want to study at ETH and become a scientist. Modern technologies open up so many opportunities for us and I want to be part of them. Take For example, let's say a person loses their arm because it has to be amputated. Nowadays, with the help of a prosthetic arm or an artificial robotic arm, this person can continue to carry out their previous activities. This is great because it ensures equality and fair treatment for all people
simplified and thus improves the general quality of life. "

Murat gives all other budding programmers and hackers the following advice: "You have to take it slow. You will not be able to learn everything in a hurry because you have to really internalize all the basic knowledge first in order to build on it. You just have to be diligent and have a real desire to improve, but be patient at the same time, then you will see how much fun it is
Whole thing. In the end, your own imagination is the only limit - if you can imagine it, you can create it. "