CCI Cybersecurity Club Rises in Rank at Cybersecurity Awareness Week


Florida State University’s Cybersecurity Club concluded last week’s Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) Capture-the-Flag (CTF) 2016 qualifying competition with a top 25 national ranking among North America Undergraduate teams and a place in the top 10% of professional, graduate and undergraduate teams competing internationally.

“Capture-the-flag (CTF) competitions are not only a great way to raise awareness of cybersecurity, but also become a playground for students to sharpen their understanding of safeguarding information systems and information assets,” Dr. Shuyuan Ho, assistant professor at the School of Information, said. “I am happy to see many more students involved in cybersecurity and CCI is excited about such an extra-curricula activity.”

Nathan Nye, President of Cybersecurity Club, sees the events as a great opportunity for the club to gel and gain valuable experience in their field, “I was introduced to computer security competitions late last year, and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the team. These are events where everyone gains experience from each other.”

Ian Michaels, club Vice President, looks forward to CSAW as a means for his team to stretch their legs outside of the classroom, “In most classes we learn how tools, languages, and protocols are intended to be used. In competitions, we learn how to identify misuse and bend or break the rules to retrieve previously hidden information within the confines of a competition-defined, safe environment.”

Their group beat out 237 North American undergraduate teams and placed 127 out of 2060 international cohorts including professional teams and teams from Europe and Asia that were tasked with solving a slew of cybersecurity problems.

“Cybersecurity becomes more complex as the interaction between humans and technology advances,” Dr. Ho said. “Information is precious but requires a very sophisticated approach to protect against misusers. The cloud computing technologies, e-commerce applications, and mobile devices connect the world together. The interconnectivity of these technologies makes our cyber infrastructure more complex and vulnerable to protect. CTF provides a great venue that encourages students to think critically, recognize the vulnerabilities of systems and networks, and tackle these cyber challenges.”