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BW Cyber Security Team Places Tenth Nationally in NCL Championship

Members of the BW NCL Cyber Team

The Baldwin Wallace University Cyber Offense Team bested 134 other teams from across the nation to finish in 5th place in the silver bracket and 10th place overall in the 2016 National Cyber League (NCL) championship, held in the waning days of the fall semester. This was also the first year that BW has ranked as a silver bracket team.

"Last year we placed 29th nationally. This year we moved up by 19 places," team leader Amanda Szampias '18 noted. "Next year we will aim for first."

National Cyber League logoThe NCL is a computer security competition that offers challenges in areas such as web exploitation, open source intelligence, password cracking, scanning and recon, cryptography, log analysis, wireless access, network traffic analysis, and enumeration and exploitation.

Facing Real-world Hacker Capabilities

In addition to Szampias '18, a software engineering major from Brunswick, the BW team also included Christen Ford '18, a computer science major from Lorain, Meredith Kasper '19 a computer network security major from Parma and John Kolakowski '17, a computer network security major from Parma Heights.

"My favorite challenges were a web application that had SQL injection and an unprotected Git folder," Szampias said. "I never knew you could steal a GIT folder off a website and load it up in version control software. Those two challenges are real-world examples of what hackers can do right now."

Upcoming Opportunities

According to Szampias, the BW team will host a CTF (Capture the Flag) game in mid-September 2017. The seven students with the highest scores will earn an invitation to the team for the Fall 2017 NCLs.

"Everyone has a fair chance to earn a position on the team. If you want to join the team and are willing to work for it, you can do it," Szampias added.

Students interested in the NCL Spring season and other events may contact Szampias at

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