← View all posts

How to get started with CyberStart HQ base: The Choppers Unlocked

How to get started with CyberStart HQ base: The Choppers Unlocked

Welcome to HQ base Levels 3 & 4 - The Choppers!

Want to know what to expect from playing CyberStart? Here’s a sneak peek inside some of the first levels you’ll encounter!

CyberStart features three bases to work through - HQ, Moon and Forensics. In HQ base, you’ll improve your skills across multiple security domains, including cryptography and Linux!

One of the assignments you will face in the HQ base is against the devious Choppers. Their cunning and scheming tactics will have you sniffing out steganography, analysing source code and experimenting with Linux commands.

The Choppers levels in HQ base are jam-packed with a broad range of fun, hands-on cyber security topics and skills for you to try.

Let’s take a look at some of the challenges and how they will move you from an agent in training to cyber pro!

Getting started with The Choppers challenges

The Choppers is comprised of level 3 and 4 in HQ base. Between these levels, there are 24 challenges to complete!

You’ll join a team of cyber security analysts who are on a mission to uncover The Choppers’ criminal activities. This gang of Norwegian woodsmen own a tree felling company and are said to use unlawful cyber tactics to get a leg-up on competitor companies.

It’s up to you to investigate the gang’s online schemes and sniff out their suspicious strategies to stop them in their tracks!

Skills you’ll learn

The Choppers challenges will assist you in learning a well-rounded range of cyber security skills without the need for a textbook!

A few of the areas you can expect to learn more about by taking on The Choppers are:

Don’t forget! You will also have a field manual full of write ups and video demos to help you with challenges or areas where you’re struggling!

Challenge previews

To see a few of the skills you’ll learn in action, let’s walk through some of the awesome challenges in The Choppers!

HQ L03 C08 - Password Postulation

‘Password Postulation’ is a fantastic introduction to password safety. The Choppers have changed their password policy to gain access to their intranet. It’s your mission to see if you can guess the new password.

Challenge example

How do we guess the new password?

There are some clues to guide you in the right direction, like what the old password is and a vague idea of what’s changed.

This task shows us just how important it is to create strong and difficult to guess passwords. Using similar passwords with only a slight variance between them can make them much easier to guess!

HQ L03 C01 - A Secret Rendezvous

The brief in ‘A Secret Rendezvous’ informs you that secret messages (which may contain criminal plots) have been passed between two of the gang members. The messages are encrypted using a type of cryptographic cipher called a columnar transposition. It’s your job to solve the cipher!

Challenge example

How do we crack the code?

The code has been loaded into a special tool created by the Cyber Protection Agency to help you decrypt the message. You’ll be able to move the columns about and try different combinations.

This challenge needs an agent with a keen eye and the ability to experiment. There are several ciphers to solve throughout The Choppers levels, so you can try out a few different types and become a specialist cipher solver!

HQ L04 C08 - Phishing For Flemming

The ‘Phishing for Flemming’ challenge lets you try out some social engineering tactics used by criminals for an ethical purpose. In this challenge, you’ll examine one of The Choppers’ social media profiles to gather information for a phishing email. From this email, we can find out more information about the gang member.

Challenge example

How do we create the phishing email?

From the panel on the left of the screen, you’ll be able to navigate between the social media profile and the email. Fill in the personal details taken from the profile to make the email seem more convincing, and wait to see if the target falls for it.

This challenge emphasises the importance of always being vigilant about giving away personal data. As we can see, it is easy to gather personal information from people when so much of our lives are posted online!

Can’t wait to try out the exciting Choppers challenges in HQ base? Start playing today with CyberStart Game!

All of these programmes are entirely free, and feature CyberStart!

CyberStart America

What is it?

A fun programme developed to help you discover your talent, advance your skills and win scholarships in cyber security.

Who's it for?

13-18 year old high school students in the US only.

Awesome! How can I find out more?

Cyber FastTrack

What is it?

The fastest and most cost-effective route to a career in cyber security via free training and exclusive scholarship opportunities.

Who's it for?

College students in the US only.

Great! How can I find out more?

CyberStart Canada

What is it?

A free programme teaching cyber security to high school students in Canada through CyberStart's immersive learning platform.

Who's it for?

Students between the ages of 13-18 nationwide.

Nice! How can I find out more?