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TAMUctf Hosts Competition with New Integrated Technology

March 29, 2017

TAMUctf, a competitive cybersecurity capture the flag (CTF) team at Texas A&M University, will host their own CTF tournament in April, which will be an online competition consisting of a series of challenging problems meant to test the cybersecurity skills of the players.

“The event gives students a chance to apply real cybersecurity skills going far beyond what they learn in the classroom to make an impact on the industry,” said Victor “Nate” Graf, who serves as team leader.

TAMUctf began in the fall of 2016. The team is comprised of a small number of students from the Texas A&M Cybersecurity Club, including seniors Andrew Meserole, Chris Ridley, Jonathan Grimes, Lance Badoni, Graf, junior Caleb Johnson and graduate student Ivan Sauerzopf, who are making strides to expand the boundaries previously set by other CTF developers.

“It is important to note the most well-respected cybersecurity programs in higher education are all built on a foundation of excellence in teaching and research,” said cybersecurity club faculty adviser, Dr. Daniel Ragsdale. “With very few exceptions, these schools also have highly skilled cyber competitive teams. Through our efforts, our goal is move to the forefront alongside those elite institutions.”

The goal of the team is not only to host the CTF competition, but to also contribute to the state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice. CTF competitions typically consist of problems of reverse engineering, web exploits, forensics and cryptography, however, TAMUctf is developing a new technology termed “Naumachia2” to simulate network exploits as well. This technology will give seamless connections to the user to give them the full experience of man-in-the-middle attacks.

TAMUctf hopes to contribute to the education of cybersecurity by offering professors the use of this technology to use in their classrooms.

“This will greatly speed up learning and give not only theoretical, but practical experience as well,” Graf said.

TAMUctf will open their competition beginning April 12 to both individuals and teams. For more information, please contact cybersecurity@tamu.edu.