CCSF Wins WRCCDC Invitational

Today we competed in, and won, the last Invitational for the Western Regional Cyber Defense Competition.
I got to the Science building about 7:45 am, to find it all locked up. Apparently the college was officially closed.

The first hacking challenge was therefore getting into the building, which required some top-secret exploits I cannot divulge.

Once I got in, I was able to open a stealthy port through the meatspace firewall so the students could get in. Some of them ended up stuck outside for a while, but by the time the competition started, they were all there.

This competition happened before classes this semester, so I didn't expect a good turnout, but the students surprised me. We had a team of eleven students, and very accomplished they were!

Back row: Danny Mou, Dylan Smith, Kerrie Lu, and Nina Bachvarova
Front row: Blake Mcneal, Jamell Tyson, Jennifer Pham, Mostafa Maklad, and Stuart Morris

Not in the picture: Anna Bantis, Tom Horvath, and the coach, Sam Bowne

(Clicking images makes them larger)

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The competition infrastructure worked very well this time. The last three invitationals had serious problems which were now resolved, so all teams could log in to their boxes and perform the "injects", adjusting the servers to meet business demands and reporting on their status.

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As soon as the contest started, we were unable to log into one of the servers. We thought this was a mistake made by the competition infrastructure team and asked for help, but had to wait in a queue for assistance. While waiting, Mostafa figured out how to solve the problem from the domain controller so we didn't need help after all!

The students were very organized, and jumped on the injects, completing all of them on time, or all but one.

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Partway through the competition, a student showed me an alert on his cell phone, saying that a nuclear missile had been launched. I brushed that aside without a thought, saying "We're busy now, that will have to wait till after the competition." I suppose some people might regard that as strange, but it seemed perfectly sensible to me at the time.
We had difficulty configuring the Web server but eventually got it working. It took us a while to get used to the very clumsy interface, which often skipped letters or repeated them when typing commands.

The firewall administrator quickly blocked an attacker's IP address and also blocked access to vulnerable services efficiently.

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At the end, they announced preliminary rankings. Stanford got the first award, for blocking all attacks, and we got second place in the "Business" category, which I regarded as our best category, so I thought we were headed for second place or lower, behind Stanford, which has happened to us twice before.

But, to our surprise, we scored first place in keeping our "Services" up, winning the overall competition!

Complete Score List

1 - CC San Francisco - Team 4: 4429
2 - Univ. of Nevada, Reno - Team 19: 4242
3 - Cal Poly Pomona - Team 3: 4233
4 - Stanford Univ. - Team 15: 4209
5 - UC Irvine - Team 17: 4140
6 - Coastline Community - Team 5: 4051
7 - Sacramento State - Team 8: 3983
8 - CSU Northridge - Team 7: 3943
9 - CSU San Bernardino - Team 9: 3925
10 - UC Riverside - Team 18: 3825
11 - Grand Canyon Univ. - Team 10: 3667
12 - Univ. Advancing Tech. - Team 20: 3581
13 - National University - Team 11: 3423
14 - Riverside City College - Team 12: 2359
15 - San Diego State Univ. - Team 14: 2355
16 - Arizona State Univ. - Team 1: 2353
17 - SB Valley City College - Team 13: 2279
18 - CSU Dominguez Hills - Team 6: 2263
19 - UC Berkeley - Team 16: 2259
20 - Fullerton College - Team 2: 2163

On to the Qualifier

While this was a very encouraging result, this was still just an "Invitational" competition, not one that actually counts towards getting to the nationals.

The first officially scored contest will be on Jan. 27. We are looking forward to it with hope and increasing confidence!

Last Year's Team

Photos are here: WRCCDC Team 2016-7

Posted 1-13-18 by Sam Bowne
Full score list and link to last year's team added 1-14-18 7:34 am