CYBERSPACE T4.3 Hackathon in Paris, 25 April 

The DCIS – Ministère de l’Intérieur et des Outre-Mer – was honoured to host the T4.3 hackathon for the European CYBERSPACE project on Thursday 25 April. Commissioner General Thierry HARTMANN, alongside the CYBERSPACE project manager for DCIS, Mr. Lucas CIABRINI and all the teams from the Europe Sub-Directorate organised this event, which brought together representatives from the French and European security forces, European institutions (EUROPOL, EACTDA) and companies specialising in cybersecurity.

Within the CYBERSPACE project, the DCIS is leading the activities of Work Package 4, dedicated to decrypting the data of cybercriminals. On 25 April, the DCIS put five companies in competition to present tools and solutions designed to tackle the problem of decrypting the data of cybercriminals on online forums, a challenge that European LEAs face on a daily basis in their fight against terrorism and child pornography.

To determine the tool best suited to this need and to the missions of the CYBERSPACE project, Mr HARTMANN chaired a jury made up of representatives of the European institutions as well as project partners, in particular Ertzaintza and SPA (Swedish Police). Our partners from FORTH, leaders of task 4.2 within WP4, also had the opportunity to present the tools they are developing in this task to the jury.

After the introduction speech by Mr. General Jean-Luc Lefour, Sub-Director Europe at DCIS, the competition could start between the five companies. First of all, each finalist presented their comapnies, their teams and any solutions already developed for use by the European LEAs, or as part of European partnerships. This presentation was followed by a demonstration of the tools developed in the competition challenge scope, which took the form of working on a dataset provided by EUROPOL to meet a specific use case: automated clarification of passwords contained in the hash format of databases supporting online forums..

The finalists also had the opportunity to give a more detailed presentation of their competitive policies and the way in which they handle the confidentiality of their data, and to have a private discussion with the members of the jury. They took it in turns to justify their work on the dataset provided and to answer questions put by the members of the jury both on their concrete interest in cooperation at European level and on the functionalities of the tool designed to meet the challenge of CYBERSPACE’s T4.3.

At the same time, our partners from FORTH had the opportunity to present their work to the members of the jury on the basis of the same dataset as that used by the finalists, drawing in particular on one of their tools developed as part of T4.2.

At the end of the day, AEGIS won the competition and all the prizes promised to the winner, including support towards European funding with a view to encouraging the industrialisation of the winning tool in the long term, and making it available as quickly and efficiently as possible to our specialist units. This tool will also be the subject of a report to be submitted to the European Commission at the end of May 2024.

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