Cyber Camp, Treasure Hunt: Lighthearted Names for Serious-Minded Search

While others plan their vacation at the beach this summer, New York State’s cyber sleuths are competing for the honor of spending a week in July at summer camp on NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus.

It’s Cyber Security Camp, and only the best cyber geeks need apply.

To qualify for the expense-paid week on campus, contestants first need to enter the Security Treasure Hunt.  It is the work of New York State’s Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure and is part of the U.S. Cyber Challenge program.  Contestants have until May 20 to identify the vulnerabilities in a target application and to answer questions on line that test their cyber-security knowledge.

The New York contest is open to U.S. citizens over the age of 18 who reside or attend school in the state, but altogether some 5,000 contestants are expected to compete in Delaware, California, and New York.

The top 15 New York contestants will be invited to the NYU-Poly campus the week of July 26 for intensive training by cyber-security professionals of the SANS Institute, sponsor of the Cyber Camp. Classes, room and board will be provided by sponsors including NYU-Poly. The “campers” will tour NYU-Poly’s National Science Foundation-funded Information Systems and Internet Security (ISIS) lab and hear lectures by faculty members who are recognized leaders in their fields. NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus was selected because of its nationally recognized master’s degree program in cyber security. 

Employers with digital security expertise are being invited to participate in a career fair exclusively for the “campers.” The week will culminate in an award ceremony celebrating the winners of a hands-on challenge conducted the final day.

The NYU-Poly “campers” will be eligible for a $5,000 scholarship to the Institute’s master’s degree program in cyber security. To qualify, contestants must apply for and be accepted into the program.

“I encourage every one of our students with an interest in cyber security to join the Security Treasure Hunt,” said Dr. Nasir Memon, head of NYU-Poly’s cyber security program. “We know from our own CSAW (Cyber Security Awareness Week) challenges that NYU-Poly students are exceptionally skilled, and winning this challenge, with its national and state affiliations, will open even more doors for our students. This will give the winners a chance to share knowledge with the very best students in the field. I believe these informal communities of cyber students are extremely valuable, and meeting professionals in the field is important, too. I hope that every NYU-Poly student who can take off a week in July will join the Security Treasure Hunt.”