BicDroid | News | 2022 Taishan Challenge Cup

News | 2022 the first attack and defense compelition, Taishan Challenge Cup

To Tackle Challenges Posed by Log4j and Other Zero Day Vulnerabilities, BicDroid Inc. Successfully Hosted the First Data Security Attack and Defense Competition, "Taishan Challenge Cup".

Jan. 5, 2022

Waterloo, ON - The first data security attack and defense competition, "Taishan Challenge Cup", came to a successful conclusion last Sunday.

The competition was jointly initiated by the internationally renowned cloud computing security organization---Cloud Security Alliance Greater China---and data security leader BicDroid Inc. (through its subsidiary in China). It received significant attention from industry and academia over its four days. Nearly 200 contestants from more than 40 teams signed up for this competition. The contestants were from well-known enterprises such as Huawei, NSFOCUS, Shanghai Wanyong, Beijing Tianrongxin, Zhejiang Dahua, Shandong Xinchao Information, Qiming, and Shanshi Network Technology, as well as top universities such as University of Science and Technology of China, Wuhan University, Southeast University, Xi'an University of Posts and Telecommunications, the Chinese People's Public Security University, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Binjiang College of Nanjing University of Information Technology, Northwest Engineering University, and Jiangsu Police Officer College.

After fierce competition, representatives from Shanghai Wanyong Technology Co. Ltd., Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hillstone Communication Technology, Binjiang College of Nanjing University of Information Technology, Huawei, Beijing Tianrongxin, University of Science and Technology of China, and other teams won different awards. But all teams failed to attain the highest award, the "Taishan Challenge Breakthrough".

This competition reviewed the data security attack and defense capabilities of industry and academia. BicDroid data security product QDocSE, which was deployed on the competition systems, proved once again to be secure and effective data security protection. Based on the internationally cutting-edge concept of "data self-protection", BicDroid data security products can achieve kernel-level data protection and industry-leading data security assurance in the dynamic threat network environment with unknown vulnerabilities, unknown backdoors, and unknown threats through the smart integration of MAC and encryption (SIME) at the kernel layer of the operating system.

The competition committee, which included chief scientist and assistant director Bo Jin of the Third Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security, carefully reviewed the attack reports submitted by the contestants. The committee believes that this competition was different from other cyber attack and defense competitions held in the past because during this competition the system administrator’s credential, aka ‘root’, was given to all contestants at the beginning. This is a real world test of attack and defense capabilities after hackers have penetrated all peripheral defenses and have reached the target system. There are so many existing and new methods to penetrate systems and obtain administrator privileges, such as the very recent Log4j by-pass, that post-penetration security needs more attention.

Three types of attack targets, in common environments, were set for each team. The first target system is equipped with basic data protection software, which is most commonly used in the real-world. The second target system is equipped with intermediate data protection software. The third target system is equipped with advanced data protection software -- that is, the data is protected by BicDroid’s data security product QDocSE.

Judging from the results of the competition, most of the teams' scores came from successfully attacking the first two types of targets; none of the contestants completed the plaintext exfiltration attack on the third type of systems. These scenarios match real world cases. After the victim's first and second types of systems are attacked, and the administrator’s account (root) is breeched, all data is easily accessible; the data can be quickly and easily destroyed, modified, ransomed, or exfiltrated.

With the third system type, where advanced protection software such as BicDroid’s QDocSE is installed, protection is provided with a combination of process access control and data encryption. Additional features such as real-time executable signature verification prevents data from being accessed and/or destroyed. Additionally this type of data protection product has strong self-protection abilities so it cannot be turned off or re-configured – even by a compromised administrator. This is different from traditional protection software that a compromised administrator can control.

The "Taishan Challenge Cup" is the first attack and defense competition in the field of data security with the goal of directly attacking the target system’s data. It is an attack and defense competition that aims to provide data security researchers and engineers with an opportunity to experience innovative data security products in a competitive arena. It makes more people aware of new concepts and technologies such as "cryptographically partitioned" and "data self-protection" that can protect data against known and unknown attacks.