Students from around the world compete at RIT


Rochester, NY (WROC)- Hundreds of the best cybersecurity students from across the world came to the Rochester Institute Technology campus for an international cybersecurity competition.

The Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC) international finals hosted 10 top schools.

Students were able to learn about the cybersecurity world and if they were lucky, also get some free money, by breaking into an atm.

Students like Carmen Chu, a computer science major at RIT, spent the 3-day completion learning about the vulnerabilities of a mock financial system called DinoBank.

“We were supposed to test a computer network for vulnerabilities and it wasn’t just a computer network, we actually had an atm in our room too,” said Carmen chu, a computer science major RIT.

The competition was set up to mimic how penetration testing consultants work in the real world. Students spent the first days of competition testing the mock network and presented their findings and recommendations to judges the next day.

“My colleagues found a vulnerability where he could get into a database without a password and so in that database, there were a bunch of social security numbers,” said Chu.

This is the 5th year for this competition, which organizers say is the largest simulation infrastructure aimed at cybersecurity in the world.

It brings together the top students and top cybersecurity businesses like IBM, who has been a sponsor since the first year.

“Everyone knows there’s not enough cyber talent in the industry and this event here at RIT is clearly the collection of the top cyber students in the entire country and now this year for the first time, we’re bringing in teams from around the world,” said Bob Kalka, IBM global vice president of cybersecurity.

First place went to a team from Stanford University. Their team captain says the competition creates a real word environment, which will improve the future of cybersecurity.

“They emphasized so much not only technical skills but also soft skills like communication and understanding who you’re talking to. I think that will do a lot in terms of making cybersecurity more accessible to the public,” said Anna Zeng, a Stanford computer science student, team captain.

This was the first year with international students competing at RIT. The competition wrapped up Sunday night with the Stanford University team taking first, RIT in second and third place went to the California State Polytechnic University.

While this year’s theme was cybersecurity, organizers say next year will focus on water and power.

RIT is also building a new global cybersecurity institute at the college. The 3 story facility is expected to open in the fall of 2020.

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