UAF team to compete at national cyber defense event

A team of computer science students will represent the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition from April 13-15 in San Antonio.

The annual competition helps colleges and universities test their computer-security curriculum in a competitive environment. About 200 schools participate, with the top 10 traveling to the national competition each year.

Team captain Arsh Chauhan said the environment provides a unique test for the team, which includes eight students in the UAF Computer Science Department. Teams are scored on their ability to protect a fictional company’s computer system from outside threats, keep services running amid those attacks and juggle customer-service calls during the crisis.

Student teams are judged on how they respond to those challenges during two six-hour sessions.

“It’s definitely high pressure,” Chauhan said. “There’s a lot of stress, and allegedly a lot of cussing.”

This is UAF’s fifth trip to the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, where the school’s team finished third in 2014. UAF qualified this year by winning its at-large regional competition in March.

UAF competitors include Chauhan, vice captain Rohan Weeden, Addeline Mitchell, Christopher Bailey, Jason Warta, Jacob McKenna, James Lang and Tristan Van-Cise. Mike Moss is the team coach.