A group of students representing the UF Student InfoSec Team (UF-SIT) Kernel Sanders team recently won a Capture the Flag (CTF) tournament sponsored by Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Fla. By finishing first, the team won a $10,000 prize.
“Although different teams have been participating in this competition for a while, UF has often placed near the top,” said Joe Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor and the group’s faculty sponsor. “The competition has always been tough, and this win is special.”
The Kernel Sanders team was founded in the Fall of 2006 by Jordan Wiens and John Sawyer, who were both working in UF Information Security at the time. Team members for this event include Scott Lagler (captain), Miguel Caputo, Ayden Colby, Robert Dick and Jeffery Luo.
The competition was a one-day event with the theme “The Watchers at the Wall,” a blue-team-themed CTF managed by Warl0ckgam3z, an online testing and training challenge architecture for individual participants or teams. The “blue team” is comprised of people in an organization who work on defending their information security resources from attack.
The challenges involved a variety of problems, from physical challenges such as lock picking and fitness (a rarity for CTFs), typical code cracking problems, extracting and decoding remote desktop sessions, and identifying and exploiting operating system misconfiguration, among others.
Several teams were clustered near the top of the scoreboard just before the end of the competition, but UF team’s points from ancillary challenges such as Hacker Jeopardy, lock picking, physical fitness, and Lego building put them over the top.
There are no club dues or applications required to join UF-SIT. The group generally does around 50-60 competitions each year, varying in scale and duration, with most contests online. UF-SIT funding comes from student government, and the group welcomes the support of sponsors to help fund student travel to these types of competitions.
Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering