During the Fall 2016 semester, the Department of Computer Science had students participate in the National Cyber League (NCL). The NCL provides an ongoing virtual training ground for collegiate students to develop, practice, and validate their cybersecurity skills using next-generation high-fidelity simulation environments with individual and team games. The content of the competition involves solving problems in the following areas: open source intelligence, password cracking, cryptography, scanning & recon, wireless access, log analysis, network traffic analysis, web application exploitation, and enumeration.
Members of the CofC Cyber Security Club and mentored by Dr. Xenia Mountrouidou, ten students, John Anderson, Blaine Billings, Tyler Bonomo, Zach Dayton, Paul Helling, Kendall Dunn, Megan Landau, Chris Lewis, Patrick McCardle, and Josh Yates, were among 2,000 participants from across the US. Many of the students competing had little to no previous experience and the opportunity developed and strengthened their cybersecurity problem-solving skills. The season consisted of a week-long pre-season game for all students who registered and two competitive games completed individually. Finally the group competed as a team at the postseason week-long team game to solve challenges. “Even though there were two individual-completed games,” stated Megan Landau, “the group came into Harbor Walk during the weekends and worked quietly in a room together. This helped us feel more like a team when the time came for the team game.”
Anderson, Billings, Dayton, Lewis, and Yates finished the individual games in the top 100 players in the Gold Bracket and, in the overall season, they were ranked within the top 10% of national competitors.