Cyber Defense Team ranks in national security competition

Dec 14, 2020 | Engineering and Science, General News, Students

The Louisiana Tech Cyber Defense Team successfully completed its first competition. The team ranked third in its bracket and 29th overall in the National Cyber League, a nationwide competition open to all United States high schools and universities.

The newly formed team earned the third highest rank among the 281 teams in the silver bracket and 29th among 957 teams that competed in the overall competition.

Teams competed in nine domains, completing more than 90 percent of challenges in open source intelligence, cryptography, password cracking, log analysis, network traffic analysis, forensics, scanning and reconnaissance, web application exploitation, enumeration and exploitation with roughly 64 percent accuracy.

Team captain and Cyber Engineering senior Ryan Utley, who helped create the Louisiana Tech team to compete in cyber-based competitions and advance the Cyber Engineering program at Louisiana Tech, says that participation in national and regional competitions are important for students to develop confidence in their cyber security skills.

“Louisiana Tech’s Cyber Engineering and Computer Science courses provide a good understanding of techniques needed for competitions and jobs,” he said. “Capture the Flags and competitions allow students to apply and learn real-world tools and techniques to exploit systems and learn how to defend against these exploits. Many professionals in the industry participate in these large-scale competitions, and good players make good professionals. This practice is essential to have a concrete understanding of the concepts learned in college.”

“I’m really proud of the team’s effort and knowledge,” added Dr. Miguel Gates, program chair and lecturer of cyber engineering. “It goes to show that our students can compete with anyone because of their motivation and drive, and it shows that Tech’s Cyber Engineering and Computer Science programs are starting to become a force in national cyber security.”

The team will compete in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) Regionals in the spring and is looking for Capture the Flag competitions to compete in this winter.