Cambridge and Cambridge prepare for March cybersecurity hackathon

President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a news conference at the East Room of the White House Jan. 16, 2015.
President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a news conference at the East Room of the White House Jan. 16, 2015.

Come spring, an epic coding contest will pit tech heads in Cambridge, Mass., against their counterparts in Cambridge, England.

“Cambridge 2 Cambridge” is one of several ways that the US and UK hope to collaborate to build more secure information technology infrastructure. President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the hackathon in January of last year during the British premier’s US visit.

On Tuesday, at a kickoff event at MIT attended by Martin Donnelly, the UK Permanent Secretary for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the organizers of Cambridge 2 Cambridge revealed new details about the event.

The hackathon will take place on March 4 and 5. The event will begin with a 24-hour coding session at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, followed by a pitch session to judges.

The contest itself will take the form of a virtual “capture the flag” contest, Howard Shrobe, MIT professor and a faculty lead on the project told BetaBoston in January.

The winning team will take home a $70,000 prize — about 48,560 British pounds. The sponsors include Microsoft, Raytheon, Rapid7, and campus favorite Anna’s Taqueria.

CSAIL, an institution best known for research and engineering in computer science, has been dipping a toe into policy work. Besides hosting this cross-continental coding contest, the group launched a policy-focused group, the Cybersecurity and Internet Policy Initiative, in March last year.

Nidhi Subbaraman writes about science and research. Email her at nidhi.subbaraman@globe.com.
Follow Nidhi on Twitter - Facebook