Jan. 3, 2023

NDSU shines at cybersecurity competitions


NDSU students attend the BSides conference in Dallas-Fort Worth.

NDSU freshman Conor Quinn won first place in the cybersecurity “Scavenge-The-Flag” competition at the BSides Dallas-Fort Worth conference in Texas. NDSU junior Cayden Schmandt also took second place in a physical cybersecurity competition at the conference.

The “Scavenge-The-Flag” competition combined cybersecurity knowledge questions with scavenger hunt activities and in-person challenges. The physical security competition included several challenges related to locks and lockpicking.

“It was a very informative conference. The speakers were very knowledgeable and taught about some interesting attacks. It really expanded my knowledge of various aspects of cybersecurity,” said Schmandt. “It was an overall fun conference. I’m glad that we were able to bring a large group of freshmen and to get them more excited about cybersecurity and broaden their knowledge.”

BSides conferences are held around the world. The BSides conference in Dallas-Fort Worth has been held annually for more than a decade.

“It was a fun set of challenges. It was good to interact with others in the community that had done this before,” said Quinn. “It was interesting to explore different avenues to solve a problem.”

NDSU students attend multiple cybersecurity conferences and compete in multiple cybersecurity competitions each year. The competitions provide an opportunity for the students to develop and demonstrate their skills in career-relevant areas.

“Attending BSides Dallas Forth Worth was another excellent opportunity for the students,” said Jeremy Straub, director of the NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research and assistant professor of computer science. “They got to attend numerous technical sessions and meet other students and professionals with a passion for cybersecurity.”

The winning students received several prizes, including an electronics kit and clothing. The trip was sponsored by the NDSU College of Engineering.

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