Young School

Young School: Information Security Competition for Young Scientists

Russian universities traditionally forge specialists in highly intellectual spheres who are well prepared and ranked among graduates of the world's leading institutions of higher education. Great universities from other countries endeavor to do the same. Regardless of nationality, beginning researchers have been demonstrating a good knowledge of information security issues.

This gave us an idea: create a competition that pits emerging scientists from around the world to compete by demonstrating new energy and fresh ideas in the field of information security. For 2014, the Positive Hack Days forum again presents PHDays Young School. Expect a hacking challenge that incorporates significant industry trends and adds an emotional component to PHDays.

Special Offers for Finalists

Participating in PHDays Young School presents an opportunity to visit Moscow, Russia. Contest winners will be invited to attend the Positive Hack Days forum and we will provide them with overall support. They will have the unique opportunity to present their research results in front of a wide audience that includes leading information security experts from Russia and around the world.

Additionally, contest winners will be able to participate in hacking contests and get front row seats for the CTF contest. And, of course, they will be warmly welcomed as members of the PHDays community. The most outstanding research will be singled out for a special prize.

Research Themes

"The leading centers that conduct the information security researches are widely known at the international scientific community: International Secure System Lab, Computer Security Group в UCSB, SysSec Project, researches of the Ruhr University Bochum. And what do we have? The PHDays Young School contest is the attempt to answer this question."

Andrey Petukhov,
Moscow State University, Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics

Participants in the Young School competition should submit a deep study in information security concerning one of these main topics:

  • Hackers' New Targets: from audio baby monitors and pacemakers to nuclear power plants
  • Privacy and trade secrets protection in the days of PRISM, Snowden and Assange
  • Computer forensics against targeted APT attacks and cyber spying
  • Fresh approaches to intrusion detection and prevention
  • Methods of struggle against DDoS attacks
  • ERP systems and business applications security
  • Business data protection (BYOD, MDM, DLP)
  • Countering attacks against web applications
  • Protecting virtual corporate and private clouds
  • Applied cryptography
  • Security of government information systems and E-government
  • Techniques and tools for physical security
  • Protection of ICS/SCADA: securing industrial systems and modern cities

Difficulty Levels

Participation Rules

"It's no secret that information technologies are developing faster than educational program of specialized universities. For a young specialist, the only way to stay up-to-date is to carry out his or her own research. Whether graduates from Russian universities are ready to create and develop new ideas — PHDays Young School will show.""

Dmitry Kuznetsov,
Deputy CTO at Positive Technologies

Young School participants must present research results obtained by students, graduate students and young scientists in information security, along with a report abstract.

Report Requirements:

  • practical value should be emphasized
  • conclusion on practical value should be based on research results which show the applicability of the offered method or tool and the field of its efficient use
  • research methods should be described and substantiated

Abstract Requirements:

  • abstracts should be presented in English or Russian
  • abstracts should include arguments proving novelty and urgency of the results obtained
  • abstracts should be depersonalized so text does not include authors’ names or e-mail addresses or explicit references to research results
  • abstracts format should be ACM/IEEE US Letter (those abstracts which are incompatible with the requirements will be declined automatically)
  • abstracts should not exceed 4 pages, including a list of references to the literature used

How to Participate

Applications should be submitted to youngschool@phdays.com. Be sure to include the participant contact information, the report and the abstract.

Contest related questions can be sent to youngschool@phdays.com.

Important Dates

  • file an application by 11.59 PM GMT (UTC +00) on 2/15/2014
  • receive notice by 4/15/2014
  • submit final abstract and presentation by 11.59 PM GMT (UTC +00) on 5/15/2014
  • present at the forum May 2014 (specific date to be announced)


Young School
1st prize – Maria Korostelyova
2nd prize – Yelena Doynikova
3rd prize – Denis Kolegov and Nikolay Tkachenko