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DSU inspires through US Cyber Team

July 28, 2023

Students and alumni from Dakota State University are competing against the world as members of the U.S. Cyber Team.

Three individuals will be part of the competition team in the second annual International Cybersecurity Competition and Conference (IC3) in San Diego August 1- 4.

Created in 2022 by Enisa, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, the international competition aims to attract young talent and raise awareness in the global community about the education and skills needed for cybersecurity.

The first event was held in Athens, Greece, with participants from seven worldwide teams competing. The U.S. team took third place in that event.

“This is a new approach to cyber for youth,” said Logan Stratton, a DSU doctoral student and member of both the Season I and Season II U.S. team. “It shows them that cyber is not a ‘sit at your desk’ job, but it’s exciting and thrilling, a way to push you toward new adventures.”

Stratton is the binary exploitation caption for the 2023 Season II team and Austen King, a master’s degree student, is the Capture the Flag (CTF) team captain. Recent master’s graduate Shane Donahue is also on the competition squad, and graduate student Nathan Ord is on the pipeline team. DSU undergrad Gwen Vongkasemsiri will be serving as their media point of contact for Season II. Alumnus Josh Klosterman was on the Season I squad and is serving as a junior tech mentor for Season II.

Seven teams from around the world will compete in the IC3’s games, which include a red team/blue team competition and a Capture the Flag (CTF) event. DSU students are very familiar with these competition formats, but Stratton has discovered that “a great aspect of these international competitions is to be able to get the different approaches from other people in different countries.” 

That’s a benefit for these competitions, said Vongkasemsiri. “In the field of cybersecurity, you’re always learning. There are constantly new things to learn, new things to do.”

DSU President José-Marie Griffiths knows these students are prime examples of the amazing talent that is nurtured at Dakota State.

“By coupling their drive and passion with our world-class programs, these students and alumni are making inspiring accomplishments,” she said.

As part of the U.S. team, “you're encouraging people who might be just like you,” said Ord, “those who might have a budding interest in the field and may be on the fence about it, but if they see people go and travel and represent the United States, that hopefully encourages people to try the field.”

The U.S. team is sponsored by Katzcy, a social impact company committed to helping tech and cybersecurity companies grow. For more information on IC3, click here.

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