A competition has been launched to address the "critical" Linux security skills gap.

The majority of internet infrastructure is based on Linux, but Linux security experts are "scarce", according to Cyber Security Challenge UK, which runs a number of competitions to encourage new talent to enter the cyber security industry.

Supported by the Cabinet Office and leading firms in the online security market, Cyber Security Challenge UK is launching the Sophos Linux Challenge on 27 August.

The challenge will test contestants' skills in identifying security issues on a Linux system. As well as detecting a series of attacks against a server by the "bad guys", competitors will be asked to detail exactly how it has been compromised and make recommendations on how to fix the problems.

James Lyne, director of technology strategy at Sophos, said: "Last year we saw a number of attacks based on SQL injection. Although we're still seeing incidents of SQLi, the new trend this year seems to be more towards password and password hash stealing, made possible because organisations are still not securing their data effectively."

But those interested in the Linux challenge will have to be quick as registration for the competition closes at noon on Wednesday 22 August.

In recent Linux security news Nvidia released a new version of its Unix driver this month, in order to address a "high-risk" vulnerability that can be exploited by local users to gain root privileges on Linux systems.