Participants from 14 countries join a virtual Estonian cyber security hackathon

Garage48, Startup Estonia, the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Tartu and several cyber security-related startups and organisations held a virtual hackathon from 23-25 October; participants from 14 countries joined it to bring usable solutions to burning topics in just 48 hours.

The aim of the fourth cyber security hackathon was to grow, nourish and expand the cybersecurity community and to secure our cyberspace through solving various challenging problems by developing working prototypes within intensive weekend hackathon marathon, Garage48 said in a statement.

“All of the previous yearly hackathons of cyber security took place in a physical format. This year was an exception for health and safety reasons, and it made the organising team as well as participants adapt to a new format and a way to get things done,” Garage48 said.

Photo by Garage48.

The event brought in close to 170 applications and 29 ideas were presented. From those, 18 ideas and teams were chosen to compete at the hackathon.

Signed tweets win the hackathon

“Besides having the highest number of participants ever joining the cyber security hackathon, it also managed to go borderless and have participants brainstorming and working tirelessly from 14 countries – Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, the US, Ukraine, Denmark, India, Pakistan, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, the UK and Afghanistan,” Garage48 noted.

The overall winner of the hackathon was Team Signed Tweets / Sureits.me with a web app that lets acclaimed and trusted individuals attach a signature to their tweet, so whenever someone reads their tweet, they can verify it’s truly the individual who wrote it. This helps avoid conflicts between social groups or general panic, according to the hackathon organisers.

The first runner up was Team SIM x GDPR with a tutorial game in English, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian that will have several versions of the European General Data Protection Regulation indecent simulations. Employees can play a new game each month and be regularly trained in GDPR awareness.

The second runner up was Team Stardust with an app that preserves a user’s digital data profile and a browser extension that automatically fills out a signup form using the data from the digital profile.

Investors have faith in the Estonian cyber tech startups

“Cyber technology is a rapidly growing industry and it is becoming increasingly more attractive to young ambitious entrepreneurs, as well as to investors from Estonia and abroad. Today, there are 16 CyberTech unicorns in the world, with more knocking on the door,” Marily Hendrikson, the cyber security project lead at Startup Estonia, asserted.

“Estonian startups have shown stable growth, attracting large investments. Investors have strong faith in these companies and they are willing to contribute to their success.”

Photo by Garage48.

Garage48 is a series of international startup events for turning ideas into working prototypes in 48 hours. The organisation has been arranging hackathons for over 10 years.

Startup Estonia is a governmental initiative financed by the European Regional Development Fund, aimed at supercharging the Estonian startup ecosystem.

Images by Garage48.

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