For the second year in a row, the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Team at UCF was able to ward off a runner-up rank, swiping another national title.
The team, which is part of a larger Collegiate Cyber Defense Club, Hack@UCF, placed first in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in San Antonio, Texas, Sunday.
"This competition is primarily focused on system administration, security and business," according to the club's website. "Our dedicated team of 12 undergraduate students practices tirelessly around the year, training new recruits and building techniques to administer and secure servers and personal computing systems."
Austin Brogle, a member of the winning team, said the scenario for the CCDC is to secure machines in a network that have been configured by previous teams.
Each team is comprised of about eight players. The teams are given 15 to 20 computers and servers to secure for a fake company. Teams receive points for keeping out hackers and defending their systems.
The red team consists of 30 penetration tests, which act as professional, legal hackers trying to break into the teams' systems. The orange team consists of customers calling on the phone and placing online tickets for customer support that need to be addressed. While this is going on, teams have to respond to injections, which are tasks that need to be completed and are business-related or that ask for the identities of all of the users in the system.
The competition originally started in 2005 to increase employer and student interest in cyber security skills, as many hiring managers are often in attendance.
First-time competitor Conner Brooks, another member of the team, said there is also a business side to the competition, where the team has to not only work to protect a corporate network infrastructure but also business information systems.
"We are scored primarily based on the up-time of the systems and business injects," said Brooks, a junior computer science major.
The UCF team practiced twice per week, Brooks said, during which it worked on different aspects of what the competition would entail — working with different services and thinking about different strategies to defend systems.
"The club mostly focuses on the more offensive side of security, whereas the team focuses on the defensive side. However, to be good at defense, you must know the offensive side," said Brogle, a senior computer science major.
This is Brogle's third year in the competition, and he has been in the club for two years.
"It feels really great to win for a second time in a row," Brogle said. "Apparently, we are only the third team to have ever done this in the 10 years the competition has been around. It is quite an honor."
The team also won first place in the Southeast Collegiate Defense Competition, both this year and last year, making this its second straight win regionally as well.
In 2013, the team won first place in the Southeast Collegiate Defense Competition and won 10th in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
Rachel Stuart is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSageor email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.