Why did you decide to take part in this event?
I decided to take part in the Ministry for the Armed Forces’ Hackathon to develop my Data Science and machine learning skills. The opportunity to put my knowledge into practice through such a specific project was very rewarding and a confirmation for me that I definitely want to pursue a career in this area.
What subject did you work on?
In my team, we explored a rather futuristic-sounding theme: password hacking by intercepting the radio waves emitted by a computer keyboard. You see, our electronic devices – computer keyboards included – generate electromagnetic signals that carry information, and this can represent a security vulnerability.
How did you form the team? What profiles did you bring together?
To round off my profile as a Data Scientist (major: Observation Systems and Artificial Intelligence), I invited Corentin, an ENSTA Bretagne student (major: in Engineering and Business Science) to join the challenge as he wanted to find out about machine learning. I also called on two friends from Télécom Paris, Maxence and Clément, who are data science and cybersecurity engineers. The expertise they brought to the table was outstanding.
All week long, we enjoyed working with a great deal of curiosity. There was a genuine competitive spirit within the group and we are proud of what we delivered.
How did the hackathon unfold?
The hackathon was a week long. The challenges and tools available to us were presented over two days. Then, alongside our respective classes or our internships we worked on the project by meeting up remotely.
What was your final deliverable at the end of the hackathon?
We submitted a 10-page report explaining our strategy and our results. This report was very thorough and also presented the ideas we would have liked to test out if we had had more time. We also produced a more succinct video (see top of article), which we had a lot of fun making, outlining how to hack the credentials of the DGA (French Defense, Procurement and Technology Agency)
What have you taken away from this experience?
The week was very intense and constructive. I learnt a lot and the partnership with Maxence and Clément was very beneficial. Putting our heads together with students from other graduate schools is a great way of enhancing our training. What’s more, I’m convinced that data science is a driver for taking up the social and environmental challenges of tomorrow, and that’s why I think it’s vital to study it.
This first prize has opened up a range of opportunities for us. The members of the team will be able to secure internships in this field and tour the facilities of the Ministry for the Armed Forces addressing artificial intelligence and big data. This is a fantastic opportunity for us all!