Spain defeats Israel at the World Cybersecurity Championship

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In a world where digital security is increasingly in the spotlight, Spain has unexpectedly emerged as the new leader in cybersecurity. The Spanish team of IT experts has won the Ambassador World Cup 2023.

According to Forbes magazine, this is a prestigious competition for ethical hackers that enjoys worldwide recognition. This victory puts Spain at the forefront of the fight against cyber threats, an arena traditionally dominated by countries like the US, Israel, and Russia.

A significant victory

The Ambassador World Cup, initiated by HackerOne in 2022, may be relatively unknown to the general public, but within the cybersecurity world, it is one of the most significant events. The tournament emphasises the importance of protecting computers, servers, mobile devices, networks, and electronic data from malicious attacks. Today, the success of companies and national security depends on that foundation.

The standout performers from Spain led by hacker

One ‘ambassadors’ Carlos Rivero and Diego Jurado, the Spanish team consisted of a range of cybersecurity experts, some known by their aliases such as hipotermia, djurado, and alexandrio. These specialists are widely praised for their exceptional talent in identifying system vulnerabilities. They have now demonstrated that the human eye can easily be deceived in the digital world. Their work focuses on meticulously analysing code and patching discovered vulnerabilities to prevent exploitation by malicious actors.

Strategy and rewards

The competition follows the format of traditional sports tournaments. Teams from 25 countries compete in elimination rounds over eight months. Points are awarded based on the impact of the vulnerabilities found in the systems of participating companies, ranging from two points for low impact to twelve for critical impact. Interestingly, vulnerabilities are not randomly sought out. Companies voluntarily sign up to have their systems scrutinised by the hackers.

The importance of ethical hacking

Carlos Rivero emphasises the difference between legal and illegal hacking: hacking is only permissible with the consent of the companies themselves. This ensures that ethical hackers like those on the Spanish team play a crucial role in strengthening digital security worldwide. They sometimes receive significant financial rewards for their discoveries.


Spain’s victory on the world stage of cybersecurity is a remarkable achievement. However, Pedro Núñez-Cacho of Telefónica Tech points out the challenges within the field, including the variability in rewards and the need for better salaries to retain talent within Spain. He emphasises that Spanish professionals often opt for international companies due to more attractive compensation packages.

Also read: Internet security awareness campaign

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