Hawaiʻi Advanced Technology Society, a team comprised of cyber security students from University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu and Honolulu Community College, won the National Cyber League competition—the first team from Hawaiʻi to win the prestigious national contest.
“With more than 2,700 participants, you can imagine how talented the competition is,” said Matthew Chapman, a UH West Oʻahu associate professor of information technology and cyber security. “Providing the level of skill, dedication and teamwork required to win this competition, against the best students nationwide, is no small task.”
Mentored by coaches Chapman and Honolulu Community College Professor Aaron Tanaka, and led by team captain Jayson Hayworth, the 10-student team competed in a “capture-the-flag” (CTF) event. All members on the team are UH West Oʻahu students or dual enrolled at Honolulu Community College in Computing, Electronics and Networking Technology (CENT) or Information Security and Assurance
“The goal of the game is to test your skill set to see how proficient you are at completing a series of challenges,” Hayworth said. “Our job is to find the flags hidden within the challenge and those flags are utilized to calculate a score based on how much they are worth. “
Team solved every challenge presented
The students spent more than 600 collective hours solving cyber-related challenges. Teams compete virtually in areas such as open source intelligence, password cracking, cryptography, scanning and recon, wireless access, log analysis, network traffic analysis, web application exploitation, and enumeration and exploitation. The team with the highest score wins after a weeklong period. Hawaiʻi Advanced Technology Society solved every challenge presented and ended the competition with an accuracy of 94.6 percent.
“Based on our experience from previous years, they made the game much harder,” Hayworth said. “Last year we were able to complete all challenges in less than two days, this year, it took us the entire week. There were only about seven hours left in the competition when we solved the last challenge.”
The students took advantage of UH West Oʻahu’s Cyber Security Coordination Center. “Without that room, I’m not sure if we would have been able to collaborate as effectively as we could from our own homes,” Hayworth said.
Hawaiʻi Advanced Technology Society team members
- Jayson Hayworth
- Kevin Ryan
- Taylor Kina
- Tim Gunderson
- Derrick Le
- Bryan Tanaka
- Robert Kuakini
- Edward Chang
- Gabriel Farinas
- Kenneth Dedicatoria
—By Leila Wai Shimokawa