School of Computer Science students captained teams that finished first and second in the Cambridge2Cambridge (C2C) three-day cybersecurity competition that ended July 27 at the University of Cambridge.
Robert Xiao, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, led the Unstoppables team, which won the £9,000 top prize, and won the £3,000 Leidos C2C Individual award as well. Carolina Zarate, a senior computer science major, captained the CrypticCrushers team, which took the second-place £4500 prize.
C2C is organized jointly by the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and included 110 students from certain U.S. and U.K. universities. After a qualifying round that involved an online security challenge, the top contestants were selected to participate in the finals and assigned to teams, each with a U.S. and U.K. captain.
The aim of the competition is to tackle the critical cyber security skills gap, which latest figures suggest will be a shortfall of 1.8 million skilled workers globally by 2022. Sponsors of the competition include the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Science Foundation, among others.
Both Xiao and Zarate also are members of CMU’s Plaid Parliament of Pwning team that won an unprecedented fourth Capture the Flag competition at the DefCon security conference last weekend.