To make web applications more secure, you first need to learn how to hack them

Creative.Minds is a cybersecurity workshop dedicated to young female students from Germany

March 22, 2024

The workshop gave participants the opportunity to understand the weaknesses of web applications by learning how to hack them. By taking the role of the adversary and trying to exploit the vulnerabilities of the system, the students understood how to better defend those systems from real attacks.

The workshop is aimed at German female students between 16 and 25 who have a passion for cybersecurity. To take part in the event, they had to solve several challenges designed to assess their creativity and knowledge of web applications. In order to understand how vulnerabilities can be exploited, the participants were encouraged to think like hackers and find new and creative ways to break the security protocols. The insights gained in this workshop will enable them to create better security measures to prevent real attacks.

“Starting a career in IT security is a step many young women do not consider”, says Clara Schneidewind, the spokesperson of this year’s Creative.Minds event. “The reasons for that are manifold: As a younger girl, one typically does not get much exposure to programming, let alone hacking. The fact that the area is mainly dominated by men can feel very intimidating, and the stigma about the stereotypical hacker does not add much to the field's appeal”. Thus, the Creative.Minds workshop aims to break the stigma barriers and inspire female students to consider a career in cybersecurity.

Apart from practical insights, the female students heard about future career prospects from female mentors in the field. They had a chance to network with experts and ask questions about their experiences working in cybersecurity.

Creative.Minds is a workshop organized by the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy in collaboration with CASA,Cube5, GDATA, NFiTS, RedRocket and FluxFingers.


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