Amateurs battle malware, hackers in UK cybergames

BRISTOL, England (AP) ? Amateur cybersleuths have been hunting malware, raising firewalls and fending off mock hack attacks in a series of simulations supported in part by Britain’s eavesdropping agency.

The woman behind Britain’s second annual Cyber Security Challenge says the games are intended to pull talent into Britain’s undermanned electronic defense sector.

Event director Judy Baker says the expansion in cybersecurity work was threatened by a skills shortage and that the competition is intended to draw more people to the field.

Like other countries, the U.K. has been aggressively expanding its cybersecurity capabilities, outfitting its police service with specialized e-crime centers and funneling millions to tech-focused agencies such as government eavesdropping agency GCHQ.