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Student Competitors Face Off at NYU-Poly Cyber Security Week

Hackers unite! At CSAW that is. New York University Polytechnic's School of Engineering will be hosting eight separate security events this week in the 11th annual Cyber Security Awareness Week Conference (CSAW). Hundreds of college and high school students will converge at the campus starting on Thursday to participate in competitions, keynote talks and other events to help them boost their skills and knowledge in cyber security.

Those attending are finalists chosen from among almost 20,000 students from around the world who have participated in online contests. Their travel expenses to attend have been covered by numerous sponsors, including the United States Department of Homeland Security, GitHub, Yahoo and 34 other organizations from government and industry.

Among the events are these:

  • Fifteen American and Canadian undergraduate teams will compete in a capture-the-flag (CTF) finals. Currently, the field is led by two Plaid Parliament of Pwning teams from Carnegie Mellon University, which took first place in a CTF event at the DEF CON hacker convention earlier this year.
  • A dozen teams from around the United States as well as Dubai will compete for sizable scholarship prizes in a high school forensics competition, which tests students' abilities to analyze electronic evidence related to a crime, using rootkit, botnet and other tools.
  • Ten American teams will take on embedded security. Contestants have already submitted proposals for creating hardware security primitives, segments of code used to run electronic circuits. Finalists will do on-site demonstrations and presentations at the CSAW event.
  • Competitions will also take place in policy development (students are prompted with a specific cyber threat or event and must propose a policy to prevent a repeat of the incident); and research (students who have had research papers accepted for publication or presentation can share them here).
  • An on-site security quiz by Homeland Security will test participants on their knowledge of cryptography, malware, network security, protocols and policy. And attendees can visit a career fair to learn about job and internship opportunities.

CSAW was started by founded by Nasir Memon, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU-Poly, affectionately known as "evilproffy" to his Twitter followers.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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