Pathfinder

Cyber Security Club competes in the National Youth Cyber Education program

Freshmen+Surya+Jaladi+and+Caleb+Levy+brainstorm+ways+to+increase+their+membership.+%22Not+only+did+I+have+fun+while+I+competed%2C+but+it+also+helped+me+learn+more+about+the+technology+that+we+use+everyday%E2%80%93like+our+laptops%E2%80%93so+it+helps+me+in+the+real-world+too%22+Dean+Petev.+
Freshmen Surya Jaladi and Caleb Levy brainstorm ways to increase their membership.

Freshmen Surya Jaladi and Caleb Levy brainstorm ways to increase their membership. "Not only did I have fun while I competed, but it also helped me learn more about the technology that we use everyday–like our laptops–so it helps me in the real-world too" Dean Petev.

Irene Yannakakis

Irene Yannakakis

Freshmen Surya Jaladi and Caleb Levy brainstorm ways to increase their membership. "Not only did I have fun while I competed, but it also helped me learn more about the technology that we use everyday–like our laptops–so it helps me in the real-world too" Dean Petev.

Anna Pavlisin, Staff Writer

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In response to recent online security issues, freshman Surya Jaladi organized a cybersecurity club open to all students with the intent of increasing general knowledge of cybersecurity. The goal is to improve technology skills by participating in competitions and raising awareness on the importance of cybersecurity.

“Jaladi is a freshman that decided to organize this club after being introduced in middle school and joining a cyber warrior camp during the summer,” computer resource specialist and club sponsor Kevin Adea said.

Jaladi, along with freshmen Caleb Levy, Kesava Vishwanadha, Dean Petev and Yusuf Hacking, participated in the Cyberpatriot competition in which they were given a set of virtual images that represented operating systems. Then, the teams found the cybersecurity vulnerabilities—weaknesses that allow an attacker to reduce a system’s information assurance—in the image, within the six-hour period.

“There is also a cybersecurity quiz and a packet tracer,” Hacking said. “The quiz tested knowledge of things relating to cybersecurity, the packet tracer involved connecting lots of devices to the same network.”

While there was no formal preparation for the competition, team members prepared minutes before competing by quizzing each other over cybersecurity rules.

“Since this is our first year competing in this competition, we didn’t have that much knowledge on how the competition worked and how we could study for it,” Adea said. “With this in mind, we decided not to prepare for the competition at all and to just compete with an open mind and the willingness to learn.”

Without any official meetings, the team managed to reach first in the Silver Tier in Missouri.

Not only did I have fun while I competed, but it also helped me learn more about the technology that we use everyday—like our laptops—so it helps me in the real world too,” Petev said. “I enjoyed working together and getting to know each other better, then feeling accomplished when we were awarded points.”

After returning from the competition with success, the club hopes to increase membership.

“We have just finished competing for the school year,” Adea said. “[We are] in the midst of discussing what events or campaigns we can do during the remainder of the school year to raise awareness and get ready for the competition in the next school year.”  

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Cyber Security Club competes in the National Youth Cyber Education program