Take the Avast Challenge at Hack Cambridge

Erin Gallegos 16 Jan 2019

We’re asking the most tech-savvy folks we can find to join us in the pursuit of better online privacy...and win a prize!

Hackers, start your engines...

UPDATE:   And we have a winner! Four winners, actually. Team Kooky was one of four teams that accepted the Avast Challenge at Hack Cambridge, using the power of CCleaner to dynamically clean a user’s browsing history and cookies within the Avast Secure Browser.Hack-cambridge-winners

We were impressed with their teamwork and stamina, as well as their creativity and the quality of their final product. Our mentors were still up at 3 in the morning, and we can confirm that Team Kooky was, as well! In the end, their efforts and dedication paid off, and they managed to take home the grand prize Oculus Go headsets.

Great work, Team Kooky! You made the #AvastTeam proud!

Hack Cambridge is back! The fourth annual hackathon hosted at the University of Cambridge will take place this January 19th & 20th. The event brings together programmers, designers, and white hat hackers from universities all over the world. For a 24-hour period, they will build, break, and innovate to see how far they can push the boundaries of modern technology. This year’s theme is 4D, and you can follow all the news of the event with #hack4D.

Avast will be on hand, sponsoring the event and running our own hacking challenge. Alongside other hacking activities and workshops, our challenge is designed to combat the surreptitious attempts by advertisers, governments, and cybercriminals to track and target users.

The Avast Challenge

This year’s challenge entails a fusion of two of our greatest online privacy tools — Avast Secure Browser and the world’s most popular PC cleaning software CCleaner.

The challenge:

Integrate the Avast Secure Browser and CCleaner products to improve user privacy, prevent website tracking, and reduce the user’s online footprint.  Specifically:

  • Create an integration between CCleaner and Avast Secure Browser to clean user browsing data and report the results within CCleaner

  • Build a CCleaner browser extension to clean Avast Secure Browser in real time, making use of custom browser APIs

  • Explore new and innovative ways to improve user privacy online through cleaning, including making of use of other available browser features

The challenge is borne out of a shocking statistic learned when 2,000 Brits were surveyed at the end of 2018. More than 1 in 5 admitted they do nothing to protect or control their online privacy while, incredibly, 4 out of 5 admitted awareness that governments, hackers, authorities, and miscellaneous other entities can access their online history without the users themselves ever knowing. We’re throwing down the gauntlet for this challenge in an effort to raise more online privacy awareness and to encourage innovation in that all-important area.

Challengers will be judged on:

  • Teamwork — how well they work together as a team

  • Quality — the best code, including style and documentation

  • Creativity — the most innovative and “cool” ideas

The winning team will walk with 4 Oculus Go Standalone VR headsets, a future-forward prize for a future-forward challenge.

The Avast Challenge and all other hacking activities start at noon on the 19th and end at noon on the 20th — 24 hours of creative, clever hacking. Avast mentors will be there to advise and guide the students. We always look forward to this fun event and meeting the attendees, all of them potential cybersecurity experts of the future. Join the excitement of this challenge by following #AvastTeam on Twitter.

Before the challenge, we’ll give a presentation on the unique benefits of Avast Secure Browser and CCleaner.

For more info on the event, check out the Hack Cambridge website. We look forward to seeing you there!

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