Quiz Tournament

Congratulations to the 2011 Winners

Quiz Tournament

  • Team RPISEC, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute – Andrew Zonenberg and Shawn Denbow
  • Team thingys, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Ben Agre and Cory Li
  • Team Hack the Gibson –Shyamnath Gollakota of MIT and Bredan Dolan-Garitt of Georgia Institute of Technology

Register Now

Open to: high school, undergraduate, and graduate students located in the U.S.
Event date: November 10-11
Challenge captain: Brittany De Bella

The Quiz Tournament tests your breadth and depth of knowledge in broad range of digital security topics. The covered topics include, but are not limited to, network security, cryptography, malware, application and web security, protocols, the history of digital security, digital forensics, and policy, risk management, and standards.


Cash prizes for winners:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $750
  • 3rd place: $500

$5,000 Master of Science scholarships for all finalists who attend the School of Engineering.

For new undergraduate and graduate students: scholarships can only be used at the School of Engineering and for tuition purposes only, and when combined with other Poly grants and/or scholarships cannot exceed cost of tuition.

For current Poly undergraduates: The CSAW scholarship for continuing Poly undergraduates when combined with other Poly grants and/or scholarships cannot exceed $20,000 tuition costs per year.


  • There are qualifying rounds and a final round. The top two teams of each qualifying round competes in the final round.
  • All questions have short answers
  • Quiz Moderator asks 10-12 questions at each round
  • Every team tries to answer the questions simultaneously
  • For each question, teams have 30 seconds to write down their answer on a sheet of paper
  • After 30 seconds, teams show their answers to the Quiz Moderator
  • Teams earn 1 point for each of their correct answer
  • At the end of each round, teams are ranked according to their points
  • The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering reserves the right to adapt these rules as needed prior to the contest

Sample Questions


Hardware There was a vulnerability where a Firewire device, when plugged in, can overwrite anywhere in memory. What hardware protocol caused this? DMA or Direct Memory Access
Digital Forensics What is the hiding of a secret message within an ordinary message and the extraction of it at its destination called? Steganography
History, Personality & Literature What was the name of the 1983 movie where Mathew Broderick played a young hacker who gained access to a government nuclear war simulator? War Games
System/Network Admin In Microsoft Internet Explorer, which file stores information about a user’s browsing history such as URLs? the index.dat file
Cryptography In practical cryptography, what is the name of the functions that are embodied in a physical structure, that is easy to evaluate but hard to characterize. PUF or Physical Unclonable Function