Team Battles Bugs in Computer Security Contest
Strong Performance Advances Students to Finals in National Competition
Oct. 14, 2010
A team of UT Dallas computer science students placed third in the nation in the recent qualifying round of a computer security competition at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, advancing to the finals later this month.
The Capture the Flag Application Security Challenge is a cyberattack competition in which participants are given a series of challenges in various categories, with each challenge worth a specified number of points. This year the competition focused on Web application security and specific techniques that are used to breach security.
“We beat teams from MIT and elsewhere thanks to support from our faculty and the dedication of the team,” said Mitch Adair, a senior in computer science. “Our faculty provided us with the means and resources to perform well in this event, and our team worked around the clock to compete for a solid 48 hours, allowing us to outperform most every other team.”
The team’s adviser is Dr. Kamil Sarac, an associate professor of computer science and a member of the Cyber Security Research Center at the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
“What I enjoyed most was the broad spectrum of challenges,” Adair said. “The competition had seven challenge categories, including everything from reverse engineering to Web bugs.”
Bested in the qualifying round only by teams from Carnegie Mellon University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the UT Dallas team moves on to the finals Oct. 29.