Posted September 13th, 2010
When I was in high school, “hacking” mostly meant wardialing the local phone numbers looking for BBSes, and occasionally downloading “warez” from the “elite” boards. I have a funny story about the time our own John Biggs wrote a trojan disguised as a blue box program. Mostly, we were killing time and not really doing any of the exploration and investigation commonly associated with the non-pejorative use of the word “hacking”. But things have changed a lot since then, what with the explosion of the consumer Internet, the commoditization of hardware, and the proliferation of open source software giving kids all manner of opportunities to learn the nitty-gritty of computers before they ever have their first kiss. In an effort to nurture kids toward the path of the white hat, NYU-Poly is hosting a suite of cyber-security games as part of their cyber-security awareness week. High school students “from the continental United States are eligible to win cash prizes, scholarships to NYU-Poly and travel grants to attend the final rounds at NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus on Oct. 28 and 29, 2010.”
The games look pretty comprehensive, and cover everything from rootkit analysis to compromising embedded systems. Research papers and educational videos are being rewarded, so there’s opportunity for students to win in a number of media even if hands-on hacking isn’t their thing.