Visit by Bletchley Park Cyber Security Team
The experts from Bletchley Park came in on Friday 13th October to deliver workshops on Cyber Security and Ethics to our Sixth Form CSDT (Computer Science | Design & Technology) students.
The workshops were designed to give students practical, up-to-date and age-appropriate cyber security skills; teach students to think critically about the ethics of modern computing and promote and inspire students to consider a career in information security.
As well as fascinating and enlightening talk about cyber security, the state of the industry now and what the future possible holds for us all, engaging hands on exercises including locked boxes, multiple padlocks and mystery keys emphasised the need for strong and robust security in everything we undertake online, and not just banking or ordering stuff from Amazon. It might be our actual identities which are being stolen as well as our money!
What did our students think?...
“The cyber security work helped me expand my knowledge on how the process of logging in really worked – through an interactive session that helped me learn about hash functions and cryptography in a fun and engaging way." Aryan
“It was fantastic, it was interactive and very interesting, it encouraged curiosity" Teodor
"I learnt a lot of stuff about how I and others can protect our data and be secure from hackers and attacks., and also how facial recognition works and where it's stored together with my personal data." Teddy
"The lesson was very important and informative, and the teacher told us the history of the encryption and decryption (which was very interesting, especially the part about the Enigma encryption machine used by the Germans during World War II), how the security on the Internet works and even showed us on a real example." Ayub
The experts from Bletchley Park are in great demand so extra huge thanks to Dr N Shah for managing to get them to visit us, after a wait of well over a year!
“The facilitator from Bletchley Park, Mr G, was a very warm individual who really understood his work and seemed determined and enthusiastic with every word he spoke about his workshop and therefore engaged me as a computer science student so I would say it was quite magnificent.
I also learnt a little bit about hacking which would help add to my knowledge and get me a step closer to my goal of working in the IT industry”.
The room sized Colossus machines, filled with banks of vacuum tubes, switches and whirring-tape, were impressive to behold.
Bletchley Park is an impressive Victorian Mansion 80 kilometres north west of London near Milton Keynes.
In 1943 at the height of the Second World War it was turned into the ultra top secret Government Code & Cypher School, concentrating on how to crack the incredibly sophisticated codes that were being used by the Germans using their famous Enigma and Lorenz encryption machines.
Within its grounds were gathered great thinkers, puzzle solvers and intellectuals, including the great Alan Turing.
The actual operating was undertaken by hundreds of Wrens - members of the Women's Royal Navy Service.
To aid them all in their task, the world's very first digital electronic computer was realised and built by engineers from the Post Office Research Station, who were at that time dealing with the most modern electronic switching gear. Colossus was room sized and data was feed into it using paper tape! By the end of the war there were 10 Colossi operating at Bletchley!
It remained so secret that it wasn't until the mid 1970s that its existence was confirmed, and encyclopedia entries on early computers had to be corrected to give it due credit!
Bletchley Park is now a vibrant heritage attraction and museum, also operating Cyber Outreach programmes such as the one which we enjoyed.