What is the Matrix Challenge ?

What is it?


Matrix Challenge is a FREE cyber security challenge created and organised by the Yorkshire

and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit (YHRCCU), and is available to all 11-17 year olds residing

in the United Kingdom.


The competition is split into two age groups – 11-14 years and 15-17 years.




Initially setup in 2018, utilising funds from the Proceeds of Crime Act, the Matrix Challenge was successfully made available to young people in the West Yorkshire region with finalists competing for technology prizes such as laptops, drones and tablets.


In 2019, the Matrix Challenge was broadened to the Yorkshire and Humber region – incorporating the assistance of West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside Police Forces. The final was held at York Race Course with a number of nationally recognised businesses supporting the event.


In 2020, the YHRCCU are proud to announce that the Matrix Challenge will be offered to all residents of the UK with the 12 regional organised crime units assisting in rolling out the event across the United Kingdom.



  • The initial challenge is via an online platform. Participants will be able to compete in the challenge from Monday 20th January to Friday 14th February 2020. The game should take around 45 minutes to complete. There will be 5 elements tested: The Computer Misuse Act 1990, staying safe online, steganography, python coding and a cipher. The challenge is designed to test digital skills and encourage the development of abilities that would enable a career in the cyber security landscape.


  • Successful participants from the online competition will be invited to a regional semi-final that will take place by the 30th March 2020. This will test further practical skills – likely to involve capture the flag style competitions, team building exercise and puzzle solving skills.


  • Participants successful at regional semi-finals will be invited to compete in a national final – venue and date to be confirmed (likely July 2020). Various skills will be tested with previous finals incorporating capture the flag, open source social media, drone capture, lock picking and team events.