1. What is information and cyber security?
  2. How to take part
  3. What are the stages of the contest? 
  4. How to prepare
  5. What do winners get?
  6. Related fields pursued at ITMO 

What is information and cyber security?

Information and cyber security specialists are responsible for protecting companies from cyberattacks, preventing banking frauds, keeping sensitive personal and corporate information safe, creating antivirus software, encrypting confidential data, and so on. To perform all of these tasks, professionals need to be well-versed in programming, software and server infrastructure, cryptography, and encryption.

How to take part

The I Am a Professional competition is open to Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Specialist’s students who study full-time, part-time, or remotely at Russian universities. 

The application will close on November 14. To participate in the contest, you need to complete a registration form using your Yandex account, choose the tracks you are interested in, and upload a document confirming that you are a student at a Russian university.

Credit: VisualGeneration / 

Credit: VisualGeneration / 

What are the stages of the contest?

First, all registered participants need to undergo a qualifying round, which will run from November 17 to December 3, 2023. As per the contest’s rules, the tasks of the new season are revealed only on the day of the event yet contestants are free to review the latest demos and the tasks from previous years (in their personal accounts) when preparing for the competition. 

Contestants will be given theoretical and practical tasks, one of which will be to conduct incident research, which will entail hacking an Android or web application, and intercepting and analyzing network data. 

The theoretical aspect of the contest will assess the participants’ specialized knowledge and skills in information security: 

  • principles of cryptography;
  • post-quantum cryptography and calculating public keys based on the input;
  • the fundamentals of web development, design of modern web applications, and common web application vulnerabilities; 
  • applied cryptography and weaknesses in cryptographic algorithms;
  • reverse engineering and code analysis. 

Participants who pass the qualifying round advance to the final round, which will be held at ITMO University. For the finals, contestants will need to submit and test their answers in the testing system Yandex.Kontest – with one attempt only. 

Credit: VisualGeneration / 

Credit: VisualGeneration / 

How to prepare

What do winners get?

All medalists, winners, and runners-up will be granted a monetary prize worth 100,000-300,000 rubles depending on their score and category: 200,000-300,000 rubles (gold medalists), 150,000-200,000 rubles (silver medalists), and 100,000-150,000 rubles (bronze medalists). 

Medalists will also receive participation certificates and access to the contest’s career development center, where they will find updates on job offers and internships at partner companies, interact with HR experts, as well as take part in online events and tours of various businesses.

Additionally, all medalists, winners, and runners-up can expect admission privileges when applying to Russian universities and ITMO in particular. Winners of Information & Cyber Security will have the chance to enroll in the university’s Information Security Master’s program without having to take any entrance exams. 

Credit: VisualGeneration / 

Credit: VisualGeneration / 

Related fields pursued at ITMO

ITMO’s Faculty of Secure Information Technologies offers two educational programs for future infosec specialists: Information Security Technologies (for Bachelor’s) and Information Security (for Master’s). Both programs are supported by the university’s industrial partners, including Sberbank, Kaspersky Lab, and Dr.Web.

Information Security Technologies. Throughout the training, students develop both general (incl. web programming and mobile app development) and specialized programming skills, such as reverse programming, use of containers and local servers, data encryption, and so on. Assisted by industry experts, students learn to prevent cyberattacks, certify IT devices and software, as well as protect corporate environments and user data. 

Information Security. In this practice-oriented program, students learn to test systems, build complex information protection systems, and identify vulnerable network segments. The program’s students frequently participate in and win CTF competitions. 

Information & Cyber Security is one of three tracks curated by ITMO in partnership with Sberbank; the two others are Programming & Information Technologies and Robotics.