Case Study #5 – HackFu

Client: MWR InfoSecurity HackFu event

Brief: MWR InfoSecurity is a leading cyber security consultancy and research company and one of the Financial Times 1000 fastest growing companies of 2017.

Case Study Details

Delivering internet connections to prevent nuclear armageddon

Saving the world from annihilation by a rogue artificial intelligence added to the challenge of providing solid internet connectivity to a nuclear bunker. Thank goodness it was only a simulation.

That was the scenario for HackFu, an annual 48-hour training event run by MWR InfoSecurity to develop crucial skills among cyber security experts through immersive scenarios and role-play activities. The venue was Drakelow Tunnels, a former secret underground military complex and Cold War bunker beneath Kingsford Country Park near Kidderminster in Worcestershire.

MWR Technical Director and Principal event organiser Martyn Ruks said: “We came to Drakelow Tunnels to create a backdrop to our story which was about a rogue AI that is threatening to set off the world’s nuclear weapons. Our teams were in the safe location of the bunker trying to disable the AI and save humanity from destruction.”

Get Me Connected brought a fibre optic link to deep within the bunker, linking to a self-powered switching unit that can run without mains supply for up to a week.

Martyn said: “One of biggest technical challenges in a venue like this was providing participants with connectivity to the outside world. They needed good situational awareness of what’s going on in the world but also to access other resources to gain information about how to research and secure various technologies. Being able to have that resource within the bunker for this event was absolutely critical to its success. Get Me Connected provided that capability for us.

“As a technology company it’s been good to talk to peers who understand exactly what we’re looking for and provide the exact solution for our event. The guys at Get Me Connected are just really good at what they do and it’s been really easy working with them. This was probably a record for HackFu in terms of the level of connectivity. We were able to ship the internet out across the tunnels with wired and wireless networks enabling people to have internet access in places that would otherwise be completely cut off from the outside world. That’s no mean feat.”

Get Me Connected has provided connectivity for a number of events at Drakelow Tunnels, and so adds valuable insider knowledge to the technical know-how required to make a success of events in this unique but demanding venue.

Martyn said: “It was really important that we had someone that knew the venue and all its intricacies and all the problems we would face. That has made the process incredibly smooth. All the preparation had been done beforehand so that when we turned up, within a couple of hours we were handed a cable and told ‘here’s your internet’. In this case there was no contingency, so as an event organiser that was really reassuring.”

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