Winning High School Cyber Sleuths to Compete in Forensics Challenge At NYU Tandon, NYU Abu Dhabi

Elite High School Students Rise to the Finals in the World’s Biggest Student-Led Cybersecurity Games: NYU CSAW

High school students in CSAW 2015

More than 20 teams of high school students in the United States and the United Arab Emirates have won coveted slots to compete in the world’s largest set of student-led cybersecurity contests, the New York University Tandon School of Engineering’s annual Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) games. For the first time, the final round of the High School Forensics Challenge (HSF) will be held simultaneously at NYU Tandon in Downtown Brooklyn and NYU Abu Dhabi.

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) will simultaneously host other CSAW contests for the India-wide finals. Together, the three regional CSAW hubs will bring hundreds of high school and collegiate finalists, mentors, recruiters, cybersecurity professionals, and top academics to the 13th annual CSAW, November 10-12, 2016.

The HSF finalists in the U.S. regionals will be awarded a scholarship (contingent on admission to the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and maintenance of satisfactory academic progress) and will receive cash prizes for their high schools provided by a grant from the U.S. National Security Agency.  NYU Abu Dhabi HSF winners will receive scholarships and travel to prestigious summer educational programs and university letters of recommendation.

In the U.S. the HSF Challenge preliminaries (September 28 to October 8, 2016) were divided into four regions, with the top-performing teams from the Midwest, West, South, and Northeast earning prizes to travel to NYU Tandon in Brooklyn to compete in the finals. Additionally, seven wildcard teams were invited based on their outstanding scores. The CSAW finalists from the United Arab Emirates were not selected by region but were the highest scoring teams.

U.S. Regional Finalists

  • FailSec — Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois
  • 1064CBread — Dos Pueblos High School, Santa Barbara, California
  • Transcendent Gluten-Free Pudding — Poolesville High School, Poolesville, Maryland
  • TheePotato — Thomas Jefferson High School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

U.S. Wildcard Finalists

  • Farm Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Finger — Poolesville High School
  • Flaming Pandas — Suncoast Community High School, Riviera Beach, Florida
  • in/s/ane — Stuyvesant High School, New York City
  • µ's — Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia
  • n0de — Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Darkside — Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • wacode — Westford Academy, Westford, Massachusetts

UAE Finalists

  • Crypto Crew — Abu Dhabi Secondary School, Abu Dhabi
  • The 404s — Greenwood International School, Dubai
  • Pirates Party — Islamia English School, Abu Dhabi
  • Pwn Shadows — Applied Technology School, Fujairah
  • Spectres — Islamia English School, Abu Dhabi
  • Striking Slayers — Islamia English School, Abu Dhabi
  • Cyber hackers — Applied Technology School, Fujairah
  • SKW — Raha International School, Abu Dhabi
  • Diablo — Applied Technology High School, Fujairah
  • TheSeCaTech — Delhi Private School, Dubai

Besides honing the skills of young enthusiasts, the HSF Challenge introduces high school-age novices to the cybersecurity field through an online education program featuring free CyFor self-guided education modules and a series of webinars, both of which were developed by NYU cybersecurity undergraduate and graduate students and mentors. The preliminaries employed a series of fast-paced challenges similar to the CSAW Capture the Flag contest.

“We originally conceived of the CSAW High School Forensics competition as a means to engage students at a young age in an exciting area of computer science,” said Nasir Memon, NYU CSAW founder and professor at the NYU School of Engineering Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “That’s why we scaled up our outreach last year through open-source education and a contest format similar to Capture the Flag. The initiative has proved very successful.”

At the HSF finals, teams of high school students will attempt to solve a fictitious murder mystery by identifying and analyzing electronic evidence pointing to the perpetrator.

Sponsors for CSAW 2016 are: Gold Level — Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Silver Level — Bridgewater, Google, IBM, and Kroll; Bronze Level — Facebook, Jefferies, Navy Civilian Careers, NCC Group, and Raytheon; Supporting Level — Bloomberg, Cubic, EY, Intel, National Security Agency, Optiv, The Ruth & Jerome A. Siegel Foundation, Sandia National Laboratories, and U.S. Secret Service; Contributing Level — ACSA, Altera, and Cigital.

For more information on CSAW, visit Follow @CSAW_NYUTandon.

About the NYU Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within the country’s largest private research university and is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program.