EWU Cyber Team to Defend National Title

March 20, 2024

EWU computer science students are once again heading to nationals this spring after taking first place in the Northwest regional of a major national cyber competition.

Last year, EWU Cyber Defenders won the national games after an eight-hour battle involving real-world scenarios over teams from universities like Syracuse, Florida and Cal State Polytechnic.

To win the March 16 NCAE Cyber Games, Eastern emerged from a field of teams from Western Governors University, Boise State University, Arapahoe Community College, Colorado Mesa University, South Puget Sound Community College and Southern Utah University

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) inspires college students to enter the exciting realm of cyber competitions – and to one day work in the field.

The EWU team included students Daniel Peterson, Eric Leachman, Alexa Darrington, Adrian Fudge, Robert Rutherford, Dennis Vinnikov, Isaiah Bessire, Thomas Longwell, Rhata Bhatia and Lewis Thomas. They were coached by Stu Steiner, EWU assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering.

The competition was 20 percent capture the flag and 80 percent securing infrastructure – meaning teams had to secure computer servers, and computer network for active attacks. Points are awarded based on how long you can keep the infrastructure up and running.

EWU Cyber tallied a total of 4,515 points out of a possible 11,250 total points, edging out the closest team by 212 points in a back-and-forth battle.

The nationals will be held in Tampa, FL., on April 20.