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EUROCONTROL and Israel Airports Authority host Olympics of aviation cyber security "Capture The Flag"

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Participants at the event

Aviation cyber security experts from nine organisations joined the “Capture The Flag” cyber conference and exercise co-organised by EUROCONTROL and the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) and hosted by IAA at Ben-Gurion International Airport on 25-26 October 2022.

The conference saw experts from IAA, EUROCONTROL, Lufthansa, Aéroports De Paris, Budapest Airport, Crocontrol, LVNL, BULATSA and SloveniaControl compete in solving cyber challenges related to responding, handling and successfully recovering from a cyber-attack.

Welcoming the cyber security experts, Eamonn Brennan, EUROCONTROL Director General said:

"Everyone of us wakes up every morning to media stories of ransomware, blockchain attacks and other cyber-attacks. 85% of all attacks come through the human machine interface so it is important that we keep one step ahead and that there is good knowledge sharing and we work together."

Israel is considered a leading state in cyber protection and particularly in civil aviation. As the IAA has established a cyber defence centre and operates a cyber-monitoring and protection centre for the Israel Ministry of Transportation the setting of the conference at Ben-Gurion Int'l Airport was the ideal choice for the event. IAA Board of Directors Chairman, Yitzhak (Gerry) Gershon:

"As a national operational aviation entity, IAA is tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding Israel's aviation cyberspace within IAA apparatus from cyber threats, while preserving its sturdy and continuous operation. Functioning as crucial national gateways under constant cyber threats, have turned Ben-Gurion Int'l Airport and other facilities and functions into a leading force in aviation infrastructure safety."

Ultimately, the conference served to support European aviation organisations and EUROCONTROL Member States in preparing for cyber protection and creating a nucleus of aviation cyber experts ready to cooperate whenever needed. Upon completion of a specific challenge, the teams were awarded one flag. The goal of the exercise was to capture 14 possible flag. All teams performed outstandingly as all captured at least 12 flags.

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