Best High School Cyber Detectives Head to Brooklyn for Their Final Challenge

13 Teams Progress to the Final Round of NYU-Poly’s High School Digital Forensics Contest

Student on computer during CSAW

Brooklyn, New York— Thirteen teams will progress to the final round of the largest cyber security contest for high school students—The Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) High School Forensics Contest.

The finalists will gather on NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus November 14-16, 2013, to solve a murder mystery using digital tools, as well as to attend conference sessions and network with cyber security professionals and the collegiate and high school contestants in five other contests that will be part of the 10th annual CSAW.

The 13 finalist high school teams bested their rivals in the preliminary round based on their outstanding abilities to analyze and inspect pieces of electronic evidence related to a fictional crime. They faced fierce competition from more than 500 teams comprised of 1,500 students.

Great Neck (N.Y.) High School and Poolsville (Md.) High School each saw two teams reach the finals. The mentor-coaches from both participated this summer in NYU-Poly’s cyber security training for teachers, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The two-week program helps teachers develop curriculum and resources to teach digital security, and it provides additional support for females, who represent no more than 13 percent of all cyber security professionals.

Winners of the finalist positions are:

  • 0x90.avi--Thomas Jefferson High School, Jefferson Hills, Pa.
  • Bitfield--The Indian High School, United Arab Emirates
  • Cyber Hawks-- John P. Stevens High School, Edison, N.J.
  • Cyber Piledrivers--Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Md.
  • Electric Sheep--High Technology High School, Lincroft, N.J.
  • Global Network Navigators--Great Neck North High School, Great Neck, N.Y.
  • GNN Blazers--Great Neck North High School
  • Ins0mnia--Emirates International School Meadows, United Arab Emirates
  • Name Goes Here—Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, Ill.
  • Payday Crew—Leland High School, San Jose, Calif.
  • PHS 1437—Poolesville High School, Poolesville, Md.
  • PHS Smittywerbenjegermanjenson—Poolesville High School
  • The CAMS Nugget--California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Carson, Calif.

The High School Forensics Contest aims to increase young students’ computer forensic knowledge. By requiring students to use the newest digital analysis tools such as Android analysis, source code analysis, EXIF/geolocation, and steganography, it teaches the most advanced forensic technology.

“We recognize that high school is an important time to engage students in security challenges,” said Nasir Memon, founder of CSAW, director of NYU-Poly’s cyber security program, and head of NYU-Poly’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “Competitions like the Digital Forensics Contest—and cyber security studies generally—encourage them to pursue their studies in the STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They discover exciting puzzles and meaningful career possibilities. By meeting successful professionals, researchers, and older students at CSAW, we hope to encourage high school students to consider continuing their studies in this vital field.”

The three-day CSAW finals will draw hundreds of the world’s most promising cyber security students and leading practitioners to NYU-Poly’s campus. In addition to the High School Digital Forensics Contest, other competitions include the Capture the Flag Application Security Contest, which attracted a record 13,500 participants in the preliminary round; the Best Applied Security Paper Contest, judging the published papers of doctoral students; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Security Quiz,  a trivia game open to all students during the CSAW finals; the Embedded Systems Security Contest, an advanced round of play to discover and exploit hardware vulnerabilities; and a contest in which students design interpretive web experiences to emphasize the importance of cyber security awareness.

The THREADS security conference will open the CSAW events and bring to campus top cyber security researchers to explain measures they developed for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It is open to students and professionals. All cyber security students in the region are invited to participate in a career fair that is also part of CSAW.

For more information about NYU-Poly’s CSAW or to register, visit

NYU-Poly was one of the first universities to introduce a cyber security program and is designated as both a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and a Center of Academic Excellence in Research by the National Security Agency. The Sloan Consortium, an affiliation of educators and institutions dedicated to quality online education, named NYU-Poly’s virtual graduate cyber security program the Outstanding Online Program of 2011. The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP), a cutting-edge research collaboration of NYU-Poly and other NYU schools, re-examines the entire cyber security paradigm to integrate technology with broader issues such as human psychology, business, public policies and law.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is a gold sponsor of CSAW; and Facebook, Qualcomm, Raytheon, and RSA provide support at the bronze level. To date, 25 companies have provided generous funding for the educational goals of NYU-Poly’s CSAW.