ORBIT delivered its first Ethical Hackathon at Royal Holloway

The ORBIT team has successfully delivered its first Ethical Hackathon on 05/06/19 and 06/06/19. The event was held for PhD students in Cyber Security at Royal Holloway.

An Ethical Hackathon is a two-day workshop that is based around the hackathon concept familiar to computer scientists.An ethical hackathon combines scientists intototackle a problem that requires them to consider social and ethical issues of design alongside technical ones. Entries are judged by external moderators in terms of ‘responsibility’, alongside traditional hackathon parameters such as efficiency and safety. Ethical Hackathons are intended to have two effects: firstly to sensitise groups to each other’s methods and concerns, facilitating futurecollaboration, and secondly to produce better, more responsible work.

For its first Ethical Hackathon in Cyber Security, ORBIT was joined by well acclaimed speakers that delivered talks on the topics of cybersecurity in Satellites and Responsible Research and Innovation. Speakers included:

  • Chris Kubecka (CEO of HypaSec), who talked about Cyber Security for US space Command and space cyber threat
  • Bernd Stahl, (PI of ORBIT and Professor at De Montfort University) who focused on Responsible Research and Innovation in cyber security
  • Matthew Bradbury (postgraduate researcher at University of Warwick) who talked about formal verification of systems

The students worked in groups for two days, focusing on both technical and ethical issues related to satellites. At the end of day two, a jury formed by Matthew Bradbury and Geraint Price (senior lecturer at Royal Holloway) announced the winners. A prize was awarded for the best technical solution to the challenges, one for the best RRI solution to the challenge and one for the more cyber-resilient work.

Overall the jury and the ORBIT team was impressed with the work done by the students in the two days. Participants in fact demonstrated that not only they gained an in depth understanding of RRI issues related to cyber security. They were also able to address these issues and to look at possible solutions to overcome the anticipated negative effects that their technologies might have. This was definitely a good example of how to put RRI into practice and hopefully the first one of a long series of successful Ethical Hackathons that will shape the way we include RRI into research.

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