Interdisciplinary Challenge

The Cyber@Alps Interdisciplinary Challenge is a competition where teams - mixing students from backgrounds in computer sciences, mathematics, international law and geopolitics - face a realistic and ever-evolving cyber-attack scenario.
Register now to the 2020/21 edition !


The objective is to promote interdisciplinarity and to encourage cooperation between students of different curricula in order to build a new generation of graduates with a broader perspective on the challenges of modern cybersecurity.

In order to win the competition, interdisciplinary teams must showcase:

  • their knowledge of the various national and international organizations involved in a cyber-crisis and the existing regulations in the cyberspace
  • their ability to perform a forensic analysis in order to collect relevant information to solve the crisis
  • and most of all their ability to cooperate and to communicate with each other

Teams composition

Students must register individually to the challenge. After registration, in order to simulate a realistic working environment, teams are drawn randomly from the pool of students while ensuring that the technical and legal aspects of cybersecurity are represented in each team.

Act 1: The calm before the storm

Act 1 introduces the fictional scenario of the crisis - through social media extracts and newspaper clippings - including the geopolitical context and international relationships that may (or may not) be relevant for the challenge. The crisis is initially constrained to a localized environment (regional or national). During this act, technical challenges will help assess the extent of the cyber-attack as well as uncover some leads on the potential culprits.

15 days after the beginning of Act 1, all teams must submit a written report describing:

  • their assessment of the situation with a short/middle/long term risk analysis
  • the preliminary evidences they have collected (with the corresponding confidence level)
  • their recommendations on the actions that should be put in place at the national (and international if necessary) level on the short term in order to avoid the escalation of the crisis

In the scenario, all written reports are addressed to the french Prime Minister: therefore, all recommendations (including the technical aspects) must be understandable by a non expert reader.

After evaluation by a jury composed of experts in cybersecurity, geopolitics and international law, the best teams are selected for Act 2.

Act 2: Ragnarok

In Act 2, the crisis has blown to a full scale (and potentially worldwide) catastrophe. It is no longer a matter of avoiding the crisis but rather a matter of figuring out how to limit the damage and to solve the situation. During this act, technical challenges may help find leverage to implement international laws or even find a way to stop the cyber-attack directly.

15 days after the beginning of Act 2, all teams must present - in 10 minutes - their recommendations on the actions that should be put in place:

  • immediately in order to solve the crisis
  • on the long term to avoid a similar event in the future

Once again, the jury is composed of experts in cybersecurity, geopolitics and international law.

Strategy Challenge 2020/21


Provisional schedule

Act 1: from 18/01 to 29/01 (written report)
Act 2: from 01/02 to 12/02 (oral presentation)


Past editions

2019/20 Edition: Rumble in Roybons

The 2019 (and first) edition of the Cyber@Alps Interdisciplinary Challenge focused on a group of independent hacktivists which spread chaos in France and eventually Europe while protesting against the destruction of a protected forest in Roybons (France) in order to build a holiday resort. Illegal actions included:

  • tampering with the local referendum regarding the project
  • tampering with the local water plant in order to release a dangerous level of chlorine into the system
  • ultimately paralyzing most of the water plants in France through the use of a ransomware

For this edition, 13 students from the CSI and SID Masters degree competed in four interdisciplinary teams. After 4 weeks, the two best teams where selected to compete in the 2020 Edition of the Atlantic Council Strategy Challenge during the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC).

Organization committee:
  • Romain XU-DARME (Grenoble Alpes Cybersecurity Institute)
  • Jérôme MERCIER (Grenoble Alpes Cybersecurity Institute)
  • Cyril BRAS (Grenoble Alpes Métropole)
  • Pascal LAFOURCADE (Université de Clermont-Auvergne)
  • Florent AUTREAU (Université Grenoble Alpes)
For more information regarding the challenge, please contact us