Cyber Competition Results in Praise for ECPI University Teams

Cyber Competition Results in Praise for ECPI University Teams

Cyber Competition Event Draws Top Talent and Industry Pros

Having never competed in a cyber competition before, two ECPI University teams entered ODU Cyber Ops ’17 and took fourth and fifth place out of 25 teams, comprised of both students and professionals. Individually, Cyber and Network Security student Dennis Karako placed second in the CyberSim Challenge. Of the six teams fielded by host university Old Dominion, ECPI University’s teams bested five of them.

In an email following the event, ODU Cyber Security Students Association Vice President Christopher Weiss writes, “We enjoyed the level of competition you brought to our team. It was very impressive for your first CTF and we hope to see you at future engagements.”

A capture-the-flag event, the competition put competitors through a series of nearly 60 challenges over the course of four hours. “One challenge involved steganography,” says Computer and Information Science faculty member Scott Gibson. “They had to locate and extract a tiny piece of data hidden inside one pixel within a picture. When you consider that those pictures were comprised of tens of thousands of pixels, it gives you a pretty good idea as to just how hard that is to do.”

“To perform the way they did in their first competition is astounding. I think it reflects very well on what we are doing in the classroom at ECPI University.”

~CIS Faculty Member Scott Gibson

Each of ECPI University’s two teams spent six weeks preparing for the competition, sharpening their skills in such areas as SQL injection, cyber forensics, and myriad software applications. “It was an amazing experience,” says Cyber and Network Security student Zec Allison. “We may be new to these competitions, but we impressed a lot of people.”

Because the competition was sponsored and supervised by GhostRed (GE Digital) and Booz Allen Hamilton, students had the opportunity to network with high-level industry professionals. “I learned a lot,” says Cyber and Network Security student Ryan O’Neil. “It really helped me hone in on the career path I want to follow within the cybersecurity field.”

Now that they’ve had a taste of success, team members say they are ready for the next competition. “I am so proud of them,” says Mr. Gibson. “To perform the way they did in their first competition is astounding. I think it reflects very well on what we are doing in the classroom at ECPI University.”

Cyber Competition Results in Praise for ECPI University Teams

Front Row: Ryan O’Neil, Zechariah Allison, Dennis Karako, Kristoffer Jackson, Jesse Ratcliffe, Bryce Rockwell
Back Row: Faculty member and advisor Scott Gibson, Steven Ashly, Julian Salice, Bruce Bultman