Binary Opposition, a team of three University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) students, won the academic category and a $5,000 prize in Cyber Cup capture the flag cybersecurity competition at the recent National Cyber Summit in Huntsville.
The team is composed of lead Jasmine Le, a senior in computer science; Carter Grimmeisen, a senior in computer science; and Marcus Jefferson, a senior in information systems. All three are from Huntsville and enrolled in UAH’s Joint Undergraduate Master’s Program (JUMP) program that allows undergraduate students to study at the graduate level. They all are pursuing master’s degrees at UAH, a part of the University of Alabama System.
The trio split the prize money between them. With 4,690 points total, Binary Opposition placed fifth in overall competition.
In the contest, participants are given a number of true-to-life challenges that all result in a text-based flag, Grimmeisen explains. These challenges are worth points, depending on difficulty, and they mirror the challenges professionals would face.
“The challenges range from things like exploiting a vulnerable web application, to reverse engineering software binaries, to deciphering encrypted data provided to us. It’s all about recognizing attack vectors, and knowing what tools and techniques we can leverage to take advantage of them,” he says.
“The competition was 12 hours in total, spread across three four-hour windows,” Grimmeisen says. “The academic division is exactly the same as the professional division except that the only eligible participants for this category are active students.”
The challenges provide teams with experience in situations that blue and red team cyber security professionals may encounter, says Jefferson.
“We compete in these competitions as a team because it is invaluable to take the concepts that we learn as students and actually see the industry applicable side of things, whether it be through…