April 14-16, the CofC Computer Science Cyber Security Team competed in the annual Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition (PCDC), a state-wide event hosted by Space and Naval Warfare Systems (SPAWAR) in collaboration with the South Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). The competition was held at Trident Technical College in North Charleston and included both high school and college teams. College teams competed on Sunday.
The goal of this annual competition is to encourage students to develop technical skills in the areas of networking and cyber security that will help prepare them for exciting careers in STEM fields. Recruiting is also a component.
The CofC teamed performed exceptionally well during the nine-hour competition in which teams were scored on two defensive challenges: keeping online services up and running and preventing against injection attacks. The CofC team ranked #1 in keeping services up and running, but ranked just slightly behind Clemson in injection attacks. The competition for first place was heated, catching the attention of the “red team” of hackers (industrial professional across the nation) who were very impressed with CofC’s performance.
In the end, CofC came in 2nd place, just behind Clemson and in front of USC, who came in 3rd. These events are extremely competitive and involve a lot of prep work. Having won 1st place last year and earning a close 2nd this year is an impressive accomplishment by all measures.
Other teams participating in this year’s competition included Charleston Southern University, The Citadel, Lander University, TTC, ECPI, and SC State.
Pictured from left to right: Phillip Wilson, Zach Dayton (Club President), Hitarth Patel, Dr. Xenia Mountrouidou (Faculty Advisor), John Anderson, Blaine Billings, and Nate Smith.
Zach and John tied for most individual points in the competition, with Zach ultimately being chosen as the MVP for the whole competition.