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RBC partners with DMZ for ‘CanHack 2019’ to introduce students to Cybersecurity

TORONTO, November 28, 2019 – Ryerson’s DMZ, Cybersecure Catalyst and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) have partnered to create an innovative approach to providing youth with future skills by hosting CanHack 2019, a two week cybersecurity competition aimed at high school students. 

For the second year in a row, over 3,000 students across Canada were challenged to reverse engineer, hack, break and decrypt a series of digital activities, all designed to teach them about computer science and security. The competition focused on improving the students’ knowledge and skills in the areas of binary and web exploitation, web security, reverse engineering, forensics and cryptography.

“RBC is proud to partner with Ryerson’s DMZ on CanHack 2019 and provide the opportunity for young people to get excited about computer science,” said Matthew Tim, vice president, cyber technology office at RBC. “By teaching students vital skills and developing their critical thinking, we are equipping them to solve real cybersecurity problems faced by cybersecurity professionals today.”

Since the September 26 kickoff event at DMZ’s Sandbox, a talent and early-stage startup incubation space, over 700 student teams from 91 Canadian schools participated in this year’s challenge.  

The top performing Canadian schools include: 

  • First place school – William Lyon Mackenzie C.I (North York, Ontario) 
  • Second place school – Lorne Park Secondary School (Mississauga, Ontario) 
  • Third place school – Sisler High School (Winnipeg, Manitoba) 

Out of over 10,000 competitors globally -including schools in Germany, Japan, Singapore, Austria and Brazil- William Lyon Mackenzie C.I, placed 5th overall, the highest of any Canadian institution. 

“CanHack 2019 is a response to a growing demand to introduce future skills in computer science and security to youth,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director, DMZ. “With the support of our partner, RBC, we were able to educate participants through challenges and experiences that encouraged students to explore new ideas and tackle security issues.”  

“CanHack 2019 has allowed students and teachers to reimagine how to learn future skills in cybersecurity,” said Valentina Krasteva, teacher, William Lyon Mackenzie CI.

“This initiative has created new opportunities for students to engage in collaborative problem solving, teamwork and learning of new skills through a creative tech challenge.”


About DMZ: 

The DMZ is a leading tech accelerator headquartered in Toronto, Ontario that helps high-potential startups grow and scale to world-class businesses. Also supporting ideation and validation stage startups, the DMZ’s incubator program has been ranked number one in the world by UBI Global. Since 2010, the DMZ has helped 430 startups raise over $736 million and foster more than 3,909 jobs. For more information about the DMZ, visit

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