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From left to right: . From L-to-R: Colton Knight, Zachary Groome, Matthew McKeever, Harrison Keating, Nick Procaccio, Tom Nedorost, unidentified

Members of UCF’s collegiate cybersecurity competition team have again taken first-place honors, this time at the Hack the Building 2.0: Hospital Edition competition in Columbia, Md. The group of five Knights, all computer science students and members of Hack@UCF – Zachary Groome, Harrison Keating, Colton Knight, Matthew McKeever and Nick Procaccio – beat out nine other finalist teams, selected from a qualifying competition held this past spring.

Hack the Hospital, hosted by the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute (MISI), gave competitors the opportunity to showcase their cyber prowess in a medical setting, a critical infrastructure with vital assets at risk including proprietary information, medical records, the water supply and the HVAC system.

The UCF team played an adversarial role as a red team in this competition, going on the offensive as malicious threat actors working to infiltrate the hospital. The blue teams worked to impede their efforts by playing hospital IT staff, defending against the red teams. A total of six red teams and four blue teams competed, selected from the original 16 blue teams and 26 red teams that entered the preliminary competition.

Red and blue teams battled for control of the hospital network and its systems, with the ultimate challenge of either protecting or trespassing the area holding the hospital’s most vulnerable patients: the neonatal intensive care unit.

The contest ended with a Knight successfully leaving the facility with an infant baby doll, taken from the NICU, putting UCF in first place.

“The highlight of the event for me was when Colton kidnapped a baby from a highly monitored NICU and walked out of the hospital without setting off any of the alarm systems,” says C3 team coach Tom Nedorost. “He did get some behind-the-scenes assistance from fellow team member Zach who gained access to the alarm system and methodically shut down various monitoring devices to help Colton make his escape.”

Held during MISI’s Hack the Building conference, the team was able network with industry and government cybersecurity professionals, attend classes and tour National Security Agency headquarters during the weeklong event.

The C3 team will next compete at the Raymond James CTF competition on Oct. 7, 2023.