Hacking for a Cause: Record Number of Students and Professionals Accept Challenge to Find Next Generation of Cyber Sleuths

Hoboken, NJ – Hackers in record numbers this weekend keyed into the country's most comprehensive cyber security challenge, organized by the students of Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) to find the next generation of cyber protectors.

The Seventh Annual CSAW (Cyber Security Awareness Week) Capture the Flag (CTF) Security Application Challenge attracted 217 registered teams, representing more than 500 individuals from across the world. The number of teams scoring points in the elimination round this weekend tripled compared to last year – an indication that the contest achieved its goal of attracting cyber sleuths with a wide range of skill levels, from high school students to security industry professionals.

The top 10 undergraduate teams from the continental United States advance to the finals at NYU-Poly's Brooklyn Campus Oct. 28-29, 2010. Two schools – Carnegie Mellon University and Stevens Institute of Technology – placed two teams each among the finalists, which were confirmed after examining qualifications. More than 300 cyber security students, from high school through graduate school, will challenge each other in the final rounds of the CTF competition and five other cyber security challenges. Altogether, more than 550 teams have registered to date.

The CTF teams that win travel grants to attend the finals at NYU-Poly where they will compete for cash prizes and scholarships are:

1. Team ppp1, Carnegie Mellon University;
2. Team RPISEC, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;
3. Team [csg], University of Texas at Dallas;
4. Team ppp2, Carnegie Mellon University;
5. Team BedIntruders, Stevens Institute of Technology;
6. Team Kernel Sanders, University of Florida;
7. Team Lady Gaga Cyber Defense Squad, Stevens Institute of Technology;
8. Team WCSC, University of South Florida;
9. Team ancat, NYU-Poly, and
10. Team PSU, Penn State.

Other challenges on Oct. 29 will comprise the prestigious AT&T Award for Best Applied Security Research Paper, a new Security Awareness Video Contest, a Cyber Forensics Challenge designed specifically for high school teams, the Embedded Systems Challenge that has attracted teams from prestigious graduate schools to test their hardware security skills, and a Quiz Tournament.

The Application Security Challenge judges are Erik Cabetas, former DEF CON CTF winner and director of information security at a New York City e-commerce startup; Dino Dai Zovi, independent security researcher and consultant; Dean De Beer, principal of zero(day)solutions; Dan Guido, security consultant at iSEC Partners; Stephen Ridley, senior researcher, Matasano Security; and Marcin Wielgoszewski, security consultant at Gotham Digital Science and recent speaker at BlackHat and DEFCON.

Other noted security professionals who helped develop the student challenges were Brandon Edwards, senior security architect at McAfee; Jon Oberheide, a founder of Scio Security; and independent researcher Alex Sotirov.

In addition to AT&T, which is underwriting the Research Award, CSAW sponsors include AccessData, BAE Systems, LGS Innovations, the National Science Foundation and Xilinx.

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 156-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i-squared-e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation's second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe. Globally, NYU-Poly has programs in Israel, China and is an integral part of NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi. For more information, visit www.poly.edu.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870 and celebrating 140 Years of Innovation, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,200 undergraduate and 3,700 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news