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How to get started with the CyberStart Forensics base

How to get started with the CyberStart Forensics base

Cases, badges & resources to succeed in Forensics base!

A quick guide to getting started…

A well-rounded graduate from the Cyber Protection Agency can be called upon when it all goes wrong!

They will know how to detect and respond to incidents through digital forensic investigations and dissect the timeline of a cyber security attack.

How do they know this? They worked their way up the ranks in the forensics division under the guidance of Agent S!

Read on to learn about Forensics base, your first case, what you’ll learn, and some resources to help you through the challenges!

What is Forensics base?

The CyberStart Forensics base challenges you to become a digital investigator and learn the practical skills needed to solve cyber security crimes!

You’ll learn the methods used to uncover what happened after a digital breach. Find hidden messages in images, practice log file analysis, and spot passwords in memory captures.

You’ll need attention to detail, problem-solving, and creativity to uncover the details, gather the evidence, and solve the case!

The CyberStart Forensics base challenges you to become a digital investigator and learn the practical skills needed to solve cyber security crimes!

Cases & Rooms

Forensics base comprises different levels, with a different case to solve in each.

CyberStart levels

When you click on an unlocked level, it will bring you to a set of rooms. Each case has several rooms, which are different parts of the investigation that you’ll need to solve.

CyberStart cases

As you complete the rooms, you will solve the case and new levels will unlock!

Once you’ve completed all the rooms in a case, the level will be completed. Solve all the rooms in all the cases, and you will have completed Forensics base!

Cracking the first case!

To give you a taster of how the cases in Forensics base work, let’s take a look at room 1 of the first case - Barcelona!

For each challenge, you’ll first be given a brief. Read the brief carefully, follow the instructions, and try to find the hidden flag to complete the room.

CyberStart challenge brief

In the first investigation, you’re required to download a suspect image and see if you can find any hidden messages within it.

CyberStart challenge hint

If you need to read the brief again, you can do so by clicking view brief on the left side of the screen.

If you can’t find the answer, you can always click see a hint on the bottom left of the screen. This gives you a helpful clue from Agent S. Just remember that a hint will cost points to unlock!

When you think you have the answer, it’s time to enter the flag! Type it in the top left side of your screen and click submit code. If it’s incorrect, you will be able to try again. If it’s right, time to celebrate and move on to the next room!

Check out our blog on top tips to think like a cyber security expert - it’s a great place to start when tackling the challenges in Forensics base!

Tips & Tricks

If you get stuck in Forensics base, don’t panic! There are lots of excellent resources and guides to help you crack the case.

Where better to start than the Field Manual! Within CyberStart, you will gain free access to the field manual. This features write-ups, video demos and interactive quizzes to help you improve in areas you are struggling. You can find the Field Manual at the top left of the screen, as well as under the bases on the base page.

CyberStart Field Manual

A whole section of the Field Manual is dedicated to forensics to help you find extra information and practical tips on digital investigation processes and methods.

CyberStart Field Manual

You can find all the forensics chapters on the left of the screen.

CyberStart Field Manual

Some of the chapters include:

  • Steganography
  • File integrity and hashes
  • Windows event logs
  • Memory forensics and volatility
  • Disk forensics and the file system

Don’t forget the hints! Within each challenge, Agent S is on hand with a helpful hint to send you in the right direction!

Another great resource is the CyberStart blog. Here you can find posts on a range of cyber security topics.

CyberStart blog

There are specific quick guides on forensics and helpful posts such as ‘top tips to succeed in defensive cyber security’. These will be really helpful to read through when learning new forensic skills.

Solve the puzzles, earn the badges

Whilst playing Forensics base, you’ll gain progress points and badges!

There are lots of unique Forensic badges for you to unlock when you complete certain cases or levels. You can find your badges by clicking view profile on the top right of the screen.

CyberStart Field Manual

As you move through the challenges, you will also be awarded job promotions in the form of badges. Start as a Detective Constable before moving through the ranks to Detective Sergeant, then Detective Inspector, and so on.

See if you can become a pro and make it to the top! Why not compete against your friends and show off your badges in the CyberStart Community?

You’ve now got everything you need to become a forensic pro. Get started with CyberStart Forensics Base to learn new skills and become a well-rounded cyber agent!

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?