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DayZero attends nationals

After+their+win+at+regionals%2C+Nathan+Herron%2C+Ryan+Creel%2C+Tristen+Higginbotham%2C+Garrett+Smith%2C+DeMarcus+Williams%2C+Chris+Patrick%2C+Dr.+Todd+Andel+%28coach%29%2C+Thanh+Nguyen+and+William+Holder+headed+to+the+national+competition.+Photo+courtesy+of+the+school+of+computing.
After their win at regionals, Nathan Herron, Ryan Creel, Tristen Higginbotham, Garrett Smith, DeMarcus Williams, Chris Patrick, Dr. Todd Andel (coach), Thanh Nguyen and William Holder headed to the national competition. Photo courtesy of the school of computing.

After their win at regionals, Nathan Herron, Ryan Creel, Tristen Higginbotham, Garrett Smith, DeMarcus Williams, Chris Patrick, Dr. Todd Andel (coach), Thanh Nguyen and William Holder headed to the national competition. Photo courtesy of the school of computing.

After their win at regionals, Nathan Herron, Ryan Creel, Tristen Higginbotham, Garrett Smith, DeMarcus Williams, Chris Patrick, Dr. Todd Andel (coach), Thanh Nguyen and William Holder headed to the national competition. Photo courtesy of the school of computing.

Micaela Walley, Copy Editor

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On April 13-15, eight members of the DayZero cyber competition team attended the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in San Antonio, Texas.

Only a week before the national competition, DayZero took first place at the Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition which was held at Kennesaw State University.

Their first place win at regionals came along with beating three-time reigning champion, University of Central Florida. They received a $500 check from Palo Alto and $19,200 in training courses from EC-Council (partnered with Simeio Solutions) for their regional win.

This year marked the second year that DayZero attended the regional competition, and the first year they attended the national competition.

DayZero came in fifth place at the national competition, out of 237 teams that competed overall.

“Attending nationals for the first time was an incredible experience and amazingly educational,” Ryan Creel, vice president of DayZero, said. “The sheer scope and scale of the competition was leagues larger than anything we had ever experienced before.”

At the national competition, DayZero defended their network of computers against an opposing team’s exploitations which simulated real world hackings they would typically face in the cybersecurity field. The opposing team consisted of experts in the cybersecurity field who work in top tier government agencies and tech companies including the CIA, Amazon, UBER, Raytheon, and many others.

According to DeMarcus Williams, DayZero’s President, during the competition the opposing team hacked one of their computers and rendered it useless. The only operation that was functional on this machine was an endless loop of the popular meme, Nyan Cat.

The team also participated in Panoply, a king of the hill style event, where whoever hacked the most machines won a grand prize of an Xbox One. This event was open to everyone in attendance, including the students, their advisors, and any attending cyber experts.

Perhaps the most important part of the competition was the opportunity to network with these cyber professionals in a social setting afterwards. The team members were able to place their resumes in the hands of the cyber experts they had been competing against throughout the competition. Many came back with several business cards and potential job opportunities with the prestigious companies that were in attendance at this competition.

“It’s not everyday that you get to shake the hand of the Vice President of a company and personally hand him your resume,” Williams said. “This competition opens a ton of doors.”

Anyone interested in participating in cyber competitions or has any interest in cybersecurity is encouraged to attend DayZero’s meetings, which are every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in room 2317 at Shelby Hall. For more information, contact [email protected]

 

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DayZero attends nationals