UH cyber security team wins national competition

Team composed of students from UH West Oʻahu and Honolulu Community College

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Leila S W Shimokawa, (808) 689-2603
Director, Communications
Posted: Dec 7, 2016

Hawaiʻi Advanced Technology Society, team composed of UH West Oahu and Honolulu CC students.
Hawaiʻi Advanced Technology Society, team composed of UH West Oahu and Honolulu CC students.

Hawaiʻi Advanced Technology Society, a team comprised of cyber security students from UH West Oʻahu and Honolulu Community College, won the National Cyber League competition – the first team from Hawaiʻi to win the prestigious national contest.

“With over 2,700 participants, you can imagine how talented the competition is,” said UH West Oʻahu Associate Professor of Information Technology & Cyber Security, Matthew Chapman. “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 Dr. 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 score based on how much they are worth. “

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. Hawai'i Advanced Technology Society solved every challenge presented and ended the competition with an accuracy of 94.6%. 

“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 7 hours left in the competition when we solved the last challenge.”

The students took advantage of UH West Oʻahu’s Cyber Security Coordination Center (CSCC). “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