Cybersecurity team advances in competition

The cybersecurity team at Lord Fairfax Community College will compete in the finals of the RUSecureCTF cybersecurity competition April 29 at Radford University.

According to a Lord Fairfax Community College news release, the cybersecurity team, The Crashers, placed fourth in the preliminary competition in March, scoring 18,750 points. The first place team scored 19,100 points. A total of 63 teams, representing community colleges and high schools, competed in the competition. Seven teams will be competing in the finals.

Cybersecurity Program Manager and Information Technology Professor Henry Coffman said this was the first time the team participated in the competition.

“Such preparation takes considerable time as every participant must have a great passion for the subject,” he said. “These students have demonstrated those traits through many hours of brainstorming, research and collaboration among themselves.”

He said the team hasn’t received specifics on what the final competition will entail, but added that preliminary information indicated the team will set up a Raspberry Pi network, secure it and defend it against experienced attackers.

“The team is preparing for such an activity and also for additional challenges, if so offered, in similar subjects as were given in the preliminaries,” he said.

The Crashers team members include Trevor Riley-Jewell, Matt Cascio, Harvey Ruth, Traci Roomsburg and Joshua Fetty.

Lord Fairfax Community College has offered cybersecurity courses for several years, he said, but the associate’s degree of Applied Science in Cybersecurity began in fall 2016. The team members in the competition are a part of this degree program. The program consists of a number of cybersecurity, Linux, Windows and programming courses.

Coffman added that the Student Government Association just approved the upcoming Cyber Advocates Club, “which is preparing for such an activity and also for additional challenges, if so offered, in similar subjects as were given in the preliminaries.”

The news release added that the National Security Agency has designated the college as a National Center for Academic Excellence in CyberDefense. Through a National Security Agency grant, each member of the top 12 teams in the contest will receive an Arduino Starter Kit. Each member of the teams who made the finals will receive a Raspberry Pi kit.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com