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Facebook sponsors hackathon to combat cybercrime

CyberXchange Hackathon is the first of its kind in West Africa and the aim of this year’s event is to bring together young Africans to brainstorm and develop computer programs to fight illegal activities perpetuated on the internet.

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The CyberXchange Hackathon is the first of its kind in West Africa and the aim of this year’s event is to bring together young Africans to brainstorm and develop computer programs to fight illegal activities perpetuated on the internet.

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A hackathon is a gathering of computer programmers who work together (usually for a few days) to come up with innovative solutions to a specified problem for a prize.

Nigeria is believed to lose about 2.5 billion dollars to cybercrime (popularly known as 419) every year and the issue is of big concern not just to Nigeria’s government but that of many others.

Participants will be exposed to a wealth of resources including senior technical staff from Facebook, worldwide exposure and attractive prize packages.

The hackathon will see university students and other professionals working in an array of fields including computer forensics, cloud security and web services converge to find some solutions to this problem.

There will be a pre-qualification process before a select group consisting of teams of between 4 and 6 participants would battle it out for the ultimate at the Landmark Event Center in Lagos from November 2 to 3, 2016.

In a statement, Facebook said they hoped to "discover new talents, methods and ideas; and to encourage development in the field of information security".

It is our hope that besides discovering gifted hackers and cyber-defenders, the will inspire the development of West Africa’s Information security professionals of the future.”

The judges for the event include; Regina Wallace-Jones; head of security operations at Facebook and music artist Eldee amongst others.

The two day event will also include an exhibition, a workshop, a conference and other speaking engagements.

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