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UCF CCDC Wins Panoply Hackathon Competition

December 17, 2015

UCF’s Cyber Defense Team scores another victory to wrap up the 2015 calendar year. Four members of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Club @ UCF (aka Hack@UCF) won the Panoply Hackathon competition at ALM’s CyberSecure Conference in NYC on December 15th and 16th. The ALM CyberSecure Conference is designed to unite business leaders and their entire risk management team. More than 1,500 industry professionals were provided with insights and connections necessary to implement a preparedness and response strategy to cyberattacks. Panoply, a cybersecurity competition, is a network assessment and network defense competition combined into a single event. Teams of students compete for control of common resources and the critical services on those resources. Once a team takes possession of a resource, they must secure that resource against attacks from other teams and maintain the critical services running on the resource. Teams accumulate points for controlling and operating critical services such as SMTP, DNS, HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, and so on.

UCF’s team of Andres Giron, IT; Jonathan Lundstrom, CpE; Alex Lynch, CS; and Ditmar Wendt, CS won both days of Panoply competition. “The timing for this competition couldn’t have come at a worse time of the year…during the last two days of Fall semester Final Exams” said Dr. Tom Nedorost, Faculty Advisor for Hack@UCF. “Fortunately, our faculty members were very supportive and worked with the students so they could complete their final exams early which allowed them to compete this week in NYC.”

In Tuesday’s competition, UCF finished 1st with 397 points, Norwich University 2nd with 196 points, and Syracuse University 3rd with 4 points. In Wednesday’s competition, UCF again finished 1st with 490 points, Norwich University 2nd with 448 points, followed by Syracuse University with 131 points. “We fielded a very well-rounded team for this event. I’m extremely proud of these students,” said Nedorost. Under Dr. Nedorost’s leadership, UCF’s CCDC Team won back-to-back National Championships in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in 2014 and 2015 and was awarded the 2014 Collegiate Cybersecurity Championship Cup for demonstrating exceptional performance across multiple cybersecurity competitions during the 2013-2014 academic year.

In addition to bringing home a 1st Place trophy, the team members will split $2000 in prize money for winning both rounds of Panoply. “Winning this competition today is an amazing way to conclude my time here at UCF,” said Andres Giron. Andres is graduating from UCF this Friday with a BS in Information Technology and minor in Secure Computing and Networks. While Andres will be starting his professional career, the rest of the team members will be returning to UCF this Spring. “We need to get back to UCF to practice,” said Jonathan Lundstrom. “Our Spring competitions start pretty early in 2016.” UCF’s CCDC Team will be competing in the Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Qualification event in early February.



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