Winning byte at code cracking

The Lancaster Girls' Grammar School team working on their winning project at the Cyber Security competition finals.
The Lancaster Girls' Grammar School team working on their winning project at the Cyber Security competition finals.

When it comes to internet security one group of Lancashire girls certainly know the art of code-cracking - and they proved it.

The cyber-sleuths from Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School are the toast of Westminster after impressing high-powered judges with their digital skills.

Evie Smith, Emily Shackleton and Lauren McHugh travelled to GCHQ in Westminster to pit their technological wits against girls from nine other schools from across the country at the national final of a national competition.

The 15-year-olds won the CyberFirst Girls competition, which was organised by the National Cyber Security Centre and saw more than 8,000 girls aged 13-15 from across the UK enter the online heats in teams.

The final took place in the historic Lancaster House, yards from Buckingham Palace, where the pupils were given their prize after finding the most clues during a full-day digital investigation to unravel a fictional mystery that had seen the fictional Paddock Hill School website hacked.

During the finals they were supported by leading female industry champions.

They took home individual prizes and £1,000 in IT equipment for their school.

After the win, Emily Shackleton said:”We had a brilliant time. The thing we enjoyed most about the competition was the ability to see our progress.

“There was nothing that could be improved about the contest, and the aesthetic on the website was fantastic.

“We were also quite pleased to find out the final was being held in somewhere called Lancaster House.”

They took home individual prizes and £1,000 in IT equipment for their school.