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Who will be Australia’s next Boss of the SOC?

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and Splunk are teaming up this week to host Australia’s largest ever cyber security challenge.

Challenging their defensive skills, 350 cyber security analysts and engineers from industry, academia and government will test themselves using Splunk and other cyber security tools and techniques.

‘You cannot underestimate the significance of this event in educating and encouraging a superior cyber security skillset in Australia,’ said Alastair MacGibbon, Head of the ACSC. ‘As the threats evolve, so must our response.’

Threats to our cyber safety and security are intensifying as cyber criminals target our phones and computers at home and at work, our infrastructure and community. Cybercrime is costing the Australian economy up to $1 billion a year, as well as damaging wellbeing, reputation and business and employment opportunities.

‘Six of Australia’s capital cities will be competing, concurrently. This challenge is known as Boss of the SOC, and the rivalry is as intense as State of Origin.’

There’s an app for that?

The ACSC’s newly opened headquarters in Canberra and network of Joint Cyber Security Centres (JCSCs) in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide are hosting the event. This is the second Splunk Capture the Flag challenge to be held in the JCSCs, after a Brisbane-based event in May attracted approximately 60 participants.

‘Every incident and scenario in this cyber challenge is based on something that Australians, as customers or security analysts, are likely to have seen or experienced,’ Mr MacGibbon said. ‘But what is the best and quickest answer to the threat?’

The Boss of the SOC (Security Operations Centre) Investigation Workshop for Splunk app was built to help security professionals learn more about how to use Splunk to hunt the threat, map their findings and better answer the questions heading their way from decision-makers.

The JCSC teams and Splunk teams in each state are coordinating and preparing for the event. Live results will be available as the competition progresses, and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the event.

So how do I get to be Boss of the SOC?

The mission can be compared to hunting for a needle in a haystack.

Playing as blue teams of defenders, participants work through a series of questions to hunt the adversary, score points for speed and technique, and ultimately emerge as cyber champions. You can buy hints, or just use your wits and skill.

‘This event speaks to the whole mission of the ACSC, which is to bring people together across the nation to test and improve their technical skills and, in doing so, raise the cyber security resilience of Australia,’ Mr MacGibbon said.

‘Good luck to all those battling to be Boss of the SOC!’

Building cyber resilience

The JCSC program brings together business, the research community and state, territory and Australian Government agencies in a collaborative environment and partnership.

With their partners working together, the JCSC’s are able to share timely, sensitive, and important information relating to cyber threat and cyber intelligence, contributing to a collective and thorough understanding of the cyber security environment.

To become a partner and for further information go to To report an incident, call us on 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371) or go to our website

Note for media

The ACSC, part of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), is based in Canberra and has a network of Joint Cyber Security Centres (JCSCs) across the country. For enquiries please contact:

August 28th, 2018