ASSET team members Karthik Raman, Bronwen Matthews and I recently attended the NYU Poly CSAW IX Cyber Security competition in Brooklyn, New York. The annual event first took place in 2003 and has since grown from a small, local cyber security competition to a worldwide event. This year, more than 10,000 students from high school to Ph.D level registered to compete in a total of seven CSAW challenges.
Karthik and I contributed four Web challenges to the “Capture the Flag” competition, which were designed to be similar to real-world scenarios hackers face. The challenges were related to commonly found bugs, but required the hacker to deduce the nature of the bug without much feedback from the website. The students responded with a pragmatic approach to the problems, and the competition was won by a team from Carnegie Mellon University. There was also an embedded systems challenge, a forensics challenge and an applied research competition.
Adobe sponsored the “Security Awareness” video challenge, open to high school and college students worldwide. The contest challenged students to develop a consumer-friendly educational video on an important security topic with the theme: “Securing Every Device, Everywhere.” Adobe provided access to the free version of Adobe Creative Cloud for all participants, enabling them to use our latest video production tools. Guest judges from the security teams at Adobe, Microsoft, VMWare, Facebook, and the NSA selected the final winners. The first place winner of the challenge this year was Ethan Bain of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois. You can watch his winning video here.
The first day of the event focused on mobile security, with presentations from Dan Guido, Vincenzo Iozzo and Dino Dai Zovi from Trail of Bits, as well as Mike Arpaia. Other presenters included: Collin Mulliner of Northeastern University, Jon Oberheide of DUO Security, and Chris Rohlf of LeafSR.
Ryan Naraine from Kaspersky Lab moderated an interesting panel discussion entitled: “If a Cybercriminal is Determined to Hack You, Can You Do Anything About it?” Panelists included representatives from Kaspersky, Harvard University IT and NYU Poly.
The high school students competed in a challenging, live security quiz, sponsored by DHS. (We played along in the audience. Let’s just say we got most of the answers right.)
It was a fun couple of days. We met some excellent students doing interesting and important work in security. It is reassuring to know that the next wave of security researchers coming out of some of our high schools and colleges are way ahead of the game in cyber security.
Adobe Secure Software Engineering Team (ASSET)