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DSU best in nation at National Cyber League

January 6, 2014

The DSU cyber security team clinched the first place position in the National Cyber League’s (NCL) Fall Post Season National Championship Standings. The season wrapped up in December and the DSU student team beat out over 50 other collegiate teams for top honors.

The DSU cyber team, known as Tr0janHorse during the event, consisted of eight students, Christopher Paschen from Clark, S.D.; William Hofer from Pierre, S.D.; Alexander Gartner from Hector, Minn.; Andrew Kramer from Etna, Calif.; Jeremiah Klumb from Mount Vernon, S.D.; Benjamin Cable from Minneapolis, Minn.; Jesse Mendez from San Pedro, Calif.; and Bryce Haviland from Worthing, S.D.

During the event, the teams are broken down into three brackets. The Bronze bracket consists of novice players, the Silver bracket includes intermediate players, and the Gold bracket for the experienced players. The NCL also divide teams into three geographic conferences, including the Eastern, Western and Midwestern regional conferences. This year, DSU was in the Silver bracket for the Midwestern conference, but beat out gold teams for the championship honor.

The NCL is a first-of-its-kind ongoing experiment in learning and gaming, and the cybersecurity students are collaborators in trying new things in the cyber exercise landscape. The NCL season includes a set of 20 Security and 19 Certified Ethical Hacker virtual lab exercises which students can access remotely from anywhere to develop knowledge and skills. The games support individual and team play to develop cybersecurity skills as well as soft skills such as communication, collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making and time management.

Founded in May 2011, the NCL provides an ongoing virtual training ground for collegiate students to develop, practice, and validate their skills. Using lab exercises designed around industry-recognized performance-based exam objectives and aligned with individuals and team games, the NCL also utilizes next-generation high-fidelity simulation environments.

For more information about NCL, go to