UMUC Team Places in Top Three of National Cybersecurity Competition

UMUC Cyber Padawans place third out of 53 teams competing in The MITRE Corporation’s virtual Capture the Flag (CTF) Competition July 9–10

By Ashley Boarman ( |   August 3, 2012

Adelphi, Md. (August 3, 2012)—UMUC announced today that a team of its undergraduate cybersecurity students placed third out of 53 teams at The MITRE Corporation’s 2012 Capture the Flag (CTF) Cyber Challenge, held July 9–10. The competition, which was open to undergraduate and high school students, drew entries from across the country, with teams from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (1st place), the University of South Florida (2nd place), Carnegie Mellon University (4th place) and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (5th place) rounding out the top five finishers. 

“We are pleased and proud of this outstanding performance by our undergraduate cybersecurity team, the UMUC Cyber Padawans,” said UMUC Acting President Javier Miyares. “It speaks both to the quality of the program and to the caliber of our students, many of whom already hold positions of responsibility defending our nation’s vital and growing cyber infrastructure. Competitions like The MITRE Corporation’s 2012 Capture the Flag Cyber Challenge offer them an opportunity to showcase and further develop the skills that they will need to lead the cybersecurity field in the 21st century.” 

The UMUC Cyber Padawans comprised four students, including John Arneson, Benjamin Heise, Armando Quintananieves and Justin Wray. The team was led by Dr. Jeff Tjiputra, academic director of Cybersecurity and Computer Networks & Security in UMUC’s Undergraduate School; UMUC alumnus Chris Kuehl served as the team’s technical advisor. The two-day, 20-hour online competition consisted of a series of challenges with varying degrees of difficulty in cyber-related categories such as computer networking, cryptography, forensics, reverse engineering and Web server exploitation.  

The CTF Cyber Challenge 2012 was sponsored by The MITRE Corporation, Career Technical Education Foundation (CTEF) and (ISC)² to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines for cybersecurity. Each team was composed of four to five students tasked with solving progressively difficult cyber-related challenges.  

For more information on the 2012 MITRE Cyber Challenge competition and a list of winners, visit