The Brooklyn campus of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) will be the nerve center this week for the world’s biggest hacking competition, as more than 10,000 participants from across the world compete in the preliminary round to find the best student teams for the tenth annual NYU-Poly Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW).
Nearly 1,000 teams, from Australia to Zimbabwe, have already registered for the preliminary round of the competition, which begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 19, and will continue until 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 22. Organizers expect to exceed the record-breaking number of 1,357 teams that signed up last year and easily outpaced the perennial leader in the so-called Capture the Flag (CTF) software hacking competitions. They are designed to find and challenge the best emerging cyber security talent and to encourage students to pursue careers and fill the acute shortage of trained professionals in the field.
The NYU-Poly CSAW competition has earned a reputation for being accessible to beginners but challenging enough to attract even professionals. Like all the CSAW competitions, it is led by students, who work with renowned professionals to design the challenges and judge them.
This week, the NYU-Poly CSAW CTF judges will be looking for top-scoring 10 teams of undergraduate students from the United States and Canada, who will receive expense-paid trips to New York to participate in the final round of the NYU-Poly CSAW on November 14-16, 2013. The CSAW winners will receive scholarships and cash prizes, network with world-known professionals and academics, attend seminars, and will be courted by top companies and institutions during a career fair.
CTF tests the application security skills of undergraduate students interested in computer security. Competitors mount attacks on vulnerable applications and solved offense challenges in their quest to earn the most points, or “flags.” For the preliminary round, NYU-Poly’s teams will gather on campus, but the vast majority of contestants will participate remotely.
The CTF is the centerpiece of NYU-Poly’s CSAW competitions, which encompass a wide range of challenges and span an array of security issues. Last year, more than 13,000 students participated, ranging from high school students to PhDs from more than 500 institutions. CSAW attracts some of the best and youngest cyber security talent.