/ cysca

CySCA 2018

The dust has settled after an exciting CySCA 2018 last week, UNSW entered four teams this year and they all did us proud! Here is everyone, pre-CySCA.

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Placing 1st, we have UNSW1 made up of Sean Yeoh, Thomas Phillips, Keiran Sampson and Ishraq Huda. Sean and Thomas are both CySCA veterans, each with three CySCAs under their belt and for Keiran and Ishraq it was their first time. A close finish with just 300 points separating them from second place and a fantastic effort put in by all.

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Upsetting our team numbering system, UNSW3 came in at 2nd place, a team of four first time CySCA players. Max Lambert, Carey Li, Adam Yi and Daniel Choi impressed us all!

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UNSW2 lead by Luke Papandrea, who played for the first time in 2017, and three newbies Adam Tanana, James Ye and Chen Zhou finished in 5th place after losing a gruelling game of cat and mouse with MONU1 and having UOM2 overtake them in the final hour.

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UNSW4 put in a solid effort over the 24 hours and placed 12th overall. Another team made up of mostly first timers, Colin Xu, Harris Piech, Alex Trinh and Katerina Borodina-Petrovic who was playing in her second CySCA.

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Kat recalled that last year she submitted a single flag for her team, this year she completed six out of the seven web challenges (no team in the competition completed the seventh web challenge). Everyone is a beginner once, it is great to see that Kat wasn't disheartened at all by her first CySCA contribution and pushed herself to learn and improve.

This year, the UNSW teams displayed tremendous team work and camaraderie. When a member of another team fell ill, we had a player take time out of the competition to walk him to his home nearby to rest, there was a lot of collaboration and teamwork in solving challenges and the atmosphere in each room was positive and buzzing with excitement; even after 20 hours!

In the lead up to CySCA, Sean took charge of organising training and qualifiers for those who wished to play and Thomas ran a number of workshops on corporate network challenges which he designed himself (blog post on that coming soon!) Thank you Thomas and Sean!

Our students arranged weekly meet ups to share challenge solutions and teach each other, it was impressive to see everyone organise themselves and learning together, we believe this sense of community is our biggest strength in security UNSW. Congratulations everyone on your hard work and performance, it has certainly paid off and I hope you have made lasting friendships and memories of the experience.

If you're a student at another institution who would like to attend our workshops and events, please sign up to our mailing list (you can opt to just hear about workshops), follow us on Twitter or join our Slack to keep up with what's happening!

For those who missed out this year it is important to note that most of our 2018 players were students who only just missed out in 2017, keep up the practice and keep playing those CTFs!