KUALA LUMPUR – Recognising the need to bolster cybersecurity awareness among Malaysians, Astro and the National Cybersecurity Agency (NACSA) unveiled a landmark collaboration: the launching of the Astro-NACSA Coding Challenge 2024 (ANCC2024).

With registration opening on the same day of the launch, university students from both public and private institutions—who are pursuing their degrees—are invited to participate in crafting innovative solutions to combat online harm.

Inspired by Astro and NACSA’s commitment to nurture proactive cybersecurity measures, the programming tournament also aimed in normalising safe digital navigation throughout cyberspace to shield internet users from online harm.

In ANCC2024, participants will be tasked with coding a cyber security risk detection software with multiple functions including, analysing websites, flagging potential threats such as malware or inappropriate materials as well as alerting users of the risks associated with visiting flagged websites to ensure informed decision-making.

The Group CEO of Astro, Euan Smith, remarked that empowering the next generation of tech talent was paramount in safeguarding Malaysia’s digital sovereignty.

“As we embark on this journey to fortify Malaysia's digital resilience, I am excited by the potential to be unearthed through the Astro-NACSA Coding Challenge 2024.

“It is not just a competition; it's a rallying call to our nation's youth to seize the mantle of cybersecurity leadership. Through this initiative, we hope to cultivate not only technical prowess but also a spirit of innovation and vigilance.

“As our world becomes increasingly digital, the threats to families & businesses from cyber-attack becomes ever more acute. Together, through initiatives such as this we are architecting a future where our digital landscape thrives securely, propelled by the ingenuity and dedication of our brightest minds,” said Smith.

The Chief Executive of NACSA, Ir. Dr. Megat Zuhairy Megat Tajuddin also echoed a similar sentiment, stressing the need for local talents to be nurtured in the bid to strengthen Malaysia’s cyber frontier.

“Cybersecurity's resilience hinges not only on technological advancements but also on the diverse talents nurtured through inclusive capacity-building programs.

“By bridging knowledge across communities, we fortify our defenses and create pathways for university students to enter the cybersecurity domain, empowering them to become the future guardians of Malaysia's digital frontier,” said Ir. Dr. Megat Zuhairy.

The coding challenge is slated to accept submissions until June 28, 2024, culminating in the announcement of winners at the Cybersecurity Summit 2024 on July 31, 2024. For more information visit:

The launching of ANC2024 took place at the second installation of the ‘Women in Cyber’ conference. First held in 2023, the one-day conference for this year centered on the theme ‘Breaking Barriers, Driving Excellence.”

The conference's primary objectives are to empower and inspire women in cybersecurity to excel in their careers, foster a supportive and inclusive community, and bridge the gender gap in the industry.