USF CSE Students Lead Team to Second Place at 2022 National Centers of Academic Excellence NSA Cyber Exercise
April 13, 2022
Team USF took second place at the 2022 National Centers of Academic Excellence NSA Cyber Exercise on April 11-13, 2022, beating 19 other schools, including Carnegie Mellon University. The team was comprised of three CSE students - Waseem Albaba (team leader and Whitehatters Computer Security Club president), Ethan Couch, and Matias Casas – and three Information Studies (College of Arts and Sciences) students - Bill Muhr, Jack Wansboro, Marc Imhof. The team was guided by Information Studies faculty member Stephen Gary.
The National Centers of Academic Excellence NSA Cyber Exercise is one of the most prestigious cybersecurity contests. The contest requires competitors to take part in five aspects of cybersecurity: Malware, Cryptography, Software Development, Attack/Defense, and Policy.
- Malware – Tasked to reverse engineer malware samples to identify the behavior of the malware as well as the source.
- Cryptography – Tasked to decrypt complicated cryptographic schemes with and write explanations about the vulnerabilities in these schemes.
- Software Development – Build Software from scratch using half the time allotted following the guidelines placed. Break their version of the software in the second half of the time allotted.
- Attack/Defense – Defend machines that were assigned to our team and attack machines assigned to other universities.
- Policy – Write and present a document that presents a COA on a scenario that is presented by the NSA. This year we had to effectively respond to a cyber-attack against national infrastructure
USF CSE has four undergraduate degree programs – computer science, computer engineering,
cybersecurity, and information technology. The cybersecurity program has over 550
students enrolled and is the fast-growing program in CSE. CSE has an industry partners
program – the Computing Partners Program – to enable closer engagement of companies with our students.