CMU-Q students win first place in Qatar University cyber challenge
“Capture the Flag” contest was part of KINDI Research Center’s Cyber Week
Four students from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) took first place in the “Capture the Flag” cyber challenge featured during Qatar University’s Cyber Week.
The team members are all computer science students at CMU-Q. Mohammed Yusuf Ansari, Mohammed Nurul Hoque, and Akhyar Kamili are seniors who will graduate in May 2020. The fourth member, Muhammad Ahmad Khan, is a junior.
The competition presented several challenges for participants, including finding weaknesses in a specially purposed network. Tech companies will often hold internal Capture the Flag competitions to test their systems and ensure they can withstand hackers and other cyber threats.
Although the students have not studied cyber security specifically, they note that the Carnegie Mellon computer science curriculum has given them the skills to analyze systems and networks for areas of potential weakness.
“When you look into building and creating systems and apps, you have to be aware of all vulnerabilities,” said Kamili.
Cyber Week also featured a conference, hosted by the KINDI Research Center, where cyber security experts from academia, industry, and government discussed current challenges and future trends. CMU-Q’s Ryan Riley, assistant teaching professor of computer science, was a co-organizer of the conference.
Riley noted that cybersecurity is unusual in that it touches on nearly every part of computer science. “Cyber security is a breadth field. You have to know a lot about a lot of areas in computer science to protect systems and networks.”