Seven students from College of the Redwoods’ Computer Information Systems (CIS) program participate in the National Cyber League (NCL) Team Competition the weekend of November 7th and 8th. The NCL is a biannual defensive and offensive puzzle-based, capture-the-flag style cybersecurity competition. Its virtual training ground helps students prepare and test themselves against cybersecurity challenges that they will likely face in the workforce such as hackers and ransomware attacks.
CR Team 3 was comprised of 7 students from two online classes, CIS35 Intro to Cybersecurity and CIS37 Ethical Hacking. Members included: Jake Ritter, Vince Danna, Jonathan Ramirez, Evan Zufah, Michael Morgan, Cymric Cramer, and Thomas Nelson. All CR CIS students enrolled in CIS35 and CIS37 play in the NCL Season competitions.Teammates work together online to solve individual challenges ranging from easy to hard across the following sections: Open Source Intelligence, Cryptography, Password Cracking, Log Analysis, Network Traffic Analysis, Wireless Access Exploitation, Forensics, Scanning, Web Application Exploitation, and Enumeration. Each of the challenges involves determining, obtaining, and using the correct Cybersecurity tools required to solve each type of puzzle with the goal of picking up as many points as possible over the weekend before the competition closed out.
The competition is extremely difficult. In fact, only two teams scored all points possible by the competition's closing. Teams found cheating or asking for assistance are quickly discovered and disqualified. Students work all hours of the day and night to earn points throughout the weekend in order to maintain leaderboard standings.The CR team managed to place in the top 15% of the country, ranking 112th out of 749 teams and were on the country-wide Top 100 Leaderboard for much of Saturday and Sunday, moving as high as 87th place at one point in the competition. Though they were bumped off the leaderboard three hours before the competition closed out, they were only 65 points shy of the 100 spot, and they had completed a higher percentage of challenges than some of the higher ranking teams.
The NCL games provide all of our CIS-35 and CIS-37 cybersecurity students with the invaluable opportunity to learn about and practice using a diverse range of cybersecurity tools and techniques in a fun, challenging, and competitive environment.