Cyber Research Center
Cadet Competitive Cyber Team, C3T
The C3T is a competitive academic team within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The team’s primary mission is to prepare for, and compete in, undergraduate cybersecurity competitions in order to improve their own computer and network security skills and to conduct outreach for the Army Cyber Center, the EECS Department, and USMA.
- January 2017 : Software Reverse Engineering with Chris Eagle
The Cadet Competitive Cyber Team (C3T) spent 3 days learning from the best - a world renowned software reverse engineer, Chris Eagle. Over a total of 28 hours, the team worked through 14 reverse engineering and software exploitation challenges while Mr. Eagle masterfully explained the fundamentals of computer science as they relate to offensive tactics such as memory corruption, shellcode design, and remote code execution. The weekend of training prepares the team for the upcoming capture-the-flag competitions Boston Key Party and the University of California Santa Barbara iCTF.
- November 2016: Cyber Security Awareness Week CTF North American Championships
The Cadet Competitive Cyber Team (C3T) placed 9th in the Cybersecurity Awareness Week (CSAW) North American Undergraduate Championships over Veteran’s Day Weekend. Hosted by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, NY, the C3T competed against the best cybersecurity Capture the Flag teams from the US and Canada. Seeded 14th after the preliminary qualification event in September, the team of four cadets advanced five spots finishing with 1101 points. This is the highest finish ever in the annual CSAW CTF Final Round for C3T (known on the scoreboard as BitsForEveryone). The participating cadets were Drew Parker (2018, G4), Chris Maixner (2018, C2), Matt Shockley (2018, B4), and Dave Trate (2018, B3). Team coaches at the event were LTC Clay Moody (EECS) and MAJ Josh Bundt (ACI).
- October 2016: HITCON International Hacking Competition
During Columbus Day Weekend, the Cadet Competitive Cyber Team (C3T) placed 68th out of 735 team in the international HITCON Capture the Flag (CTF) Qualifying Competition. This CTF featured the world’s best hacking teams from government, industry, and academia vying for an invitation to the HITCON finals to be held in Taiwan during December. Only the top 10 teams were selected to advance to the finals, but finishing with 750 points is enough to move “BitsForEveryone” into the Top 100 teams in the world according to the statistics kept at www.ctftime.org . The competition was the first CTF to be declared a DEFCON CTF qualifier by the Legitimate Business Syndicate, the organizer for the 2017 DEFCON CTF. DEFCON CTF is the galactic championship of hacking competitions and the ultimate goal for all hacking teams. Problems during the CTF challenged teams in the area of reverse engineering, binary exploitation, web exploitation, cryptography, and forensics.
- October 2016: UCONN CyberSEED Competition
Immediately following the Cadet Competitive Cyber Team’s (C3T) tremendous performance during the HITCON CTF on Columbus Day weekend, eight team members loaded up for travel to the University of Connecticut for the Comcast CyberSEED Conference and cybersecurity competitions. The CyberSEED challenges are an open invitation competition with 30 schools comprising 50 teams from all-across the
country. The C3T fielded two teams of four cadets to participate in the capture the flag (CTF) challenge and social engineering challenge. The social engineering team was able to successfully gain sensitive information about “Phony Pictures” through information operations against some new hires in the company and deception operations on the IT department. Even though this was our first social engineering competition, the team placed fourth overall and won “Pinapple Wifi” wireless hacking devices. The CTF team finished strong and solved many challenges designed by Cisco related to network security and encryption. The lessons learned from these events will continue to build the strength of the team and give us experience to bring home more prizes next year!
- September 2016: Cyber Security Awareness Week CTF Qualifying Event
The C3T finished in 46th place in the world (out of 1274 teams) during the annual Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) Capture the Flag (CTF) Qualifying event. In the category for all North American Undergraduate Teams, the West Point Team (aka BitsForEveryone) finished 14th! This performance will advance C3T to the CSAW Undergraduate World Championships hosted by NYU Tandem School of Engineering hosted in NYC over Veterans Day’s Weekend. This is the fourth consecutive year in which C3T has advanced to the national championships, and will be the only Service Academy represented in this prestigious competition. West Point finished higher than the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Coast Guard Academy. CSAW CTF Qualifiers was a 48-hour consecutive contest where C3T competed locally against other undergraduate teams, graduate teams, and government and industry teams composed of cybersecurity professionals and even intelligence agency employees. Team members tackled problems in a series of real-world scenarios which model modern computer security problems. In order to succeed, cadets must demonstrate a profound understanding of the technical underpinnings and ramifications of cyber security. Because the challenges are designed to teach, CTF competitions require contestants to integrate concepts, develop skills and learn analyze never seen before computer code.
- February 2016: CyberStakes Live Competition
The Cadet Competitive Cyber Team (C3T) team competed in the annual CyberStakes Live Capture the Flag (CTF) exercise from 4-7 February 2016 in Pittsburg, PA. The team established dominance early in the competition, brought home the most medals of any service academy, and won the culminating Live Attack-Defend CTF. Competing as three teams of four cadets, West Point's C3T won 3 Golds, 2 Silvers, and 1 Bronze medal in the 5 team events while earning a Silver and Bronze medal in the two individual events. The OSD and DARPA funded event placed teams from the Military, Naval, Air Force, and Coast Guard Academies in numerous competition based live training events testing a variety of highly technical computer security skills. New for this year, the Army’s Cyber Protection Brigade also sent a team to compete alongside the academy teams.
Visit Directorate of Cadet Activities for information on this and other Academic Clubs here at USMA.