Student Competitions

Carnegie Mellon Conquers All in 3rd DEF CON Capture the Flag Victory

A Carnegie Mellon University computer security team has taken the title of this year's DefCon "capture the flag" competition. This is the third time in four years that the Plaid Parliament of Pwning (PPP) nabbed the trophy during the annual hacking event in Las Vegas.

In capture the flag teams attempt to earn points by cracking into the servers belonging to their competitors in order to grab virtual flags while protecting their own gear.

"The consistency of our team's performance over the last four years demonstrates [Carnegie Mellon's] strength in cybersecurity education and research," said Jim Garrett, dean of the university's college of engineering, in a press release announcing the victory. "These students will clearly help drive the next level of cybersecurity."

Capture the flag is only one of many activities that make up the yearly event. Concerts, technical presentations, kids-only sessions, scavenger hunts, badge hacking and a mini-movie fest — among other doings — rounded out Def Con 24.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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