BW bested 126 other teams from across the nation to finish 3rd in the National Cyber League’s just-completed National Championship.

BW Student Cyber Defense Team Places Third in NCL National Championship

December 16, 2015

ncl-bw-cyber-security-team-previewThe Baldwin Wallace University Cyber Defense Team bested 100 other teams from across the nation to finish in 3rd Place in the Bronze Level of the National Cyber League’s (NCL) just-completed, National Championship competition. 

The NCL is a computer/network security competition that challenges participants to break encryption, analyze network security, break into websites and much more.  

The Road to NCL Glory

NCL competition includes a "Regular Season" where students compete individually, and a "Post Season" National Championship featuring teams of up to 10 students in Gold Silver and Bronze level competition. During NCL’s “Regular Season,” nine students from the BW Cyber Team fared well, with most students scoring "average" in their pre-ranked category.

In the Post Season, the students formed a "super team,” with Jonathan Cartwright leading the group as team captain. Amanda Szampias and Michael Martin took the lead in supplying the technical skills necessary to solve the challenges, while Kristina Powell, Ted Waddell, Raquel Milligan, Cameron Colaric, Nick Parenti and Alexander Hervey rounded out the team specializing in specific challenges.   

Complex Tasks and Technology

NCL-comp-logoThe BW Cyber Team’s coach, computer science professor Ken Atchinson, says the students faced a series of complex tasks including  “hacking into websites via SQL Injection, network packet capture analysis using Wireshark, Steganography (messages inside of a picture) decryption, and breaking encrypted messages.”

He added, “The team even employed ‘parallel processing technology’ as they used 20-plus computers running a brute force algorithm to break through the encrypted message cipher.”

Long Hours on Top of Finals

The team claimed the third place Bronze finish with grit and grueling hours. Student cyber defenders put in more than 300 man-hours over the active period of the National Championship competition, which ran 168 hours from Saturday, Dec. 5 to Saturday, Dec.12. 

And, yes, all those hours were on top of their coursework, which included final exams. Across all categories BW ranked 29th in the nation! Kudos to all!

Pictured above (with Storm Trooper), from left to right are team members Raquel Milligan, Kristina Powell, faculty coach Kenneth Atchinson, Jonathan Cartwright, Michael Martin, Amanda Szampias; Not pictured, team members Cameron Colaric, Alexander Hervey, Nick Parenti and Ted Waddell.