Joe McManus
Guest Blogger

University of Colorado Hackathon

Students Test Skills in Hacking Challenge

On Saturday, April 16th, over 60 students from The University of Colorado Boulder braved the “snowpocalypse” to participate in the Interdisciplinary Telecom Program (ITP) Security Hackathon sponsored by LogRhythm.

Figure 1. CU Hackathon

The students consisted of mostly graduate students in the ITP Network Security track. They were faced with the challenge of finding clues to decrypt a fictional company’s data.

Students had to use their PCAP forensics skills to discover clues. Along the way, they had to avoid Easter eggs like getting “rick rolled,” “AsciiWars” and a classic 8-Bit arcade game.

Staff from LogRhythm was on hand to help crack the case of the CFO’s ransomware. LogRhythm engineers helped with data decoding and forensic tools.

Early in the day, the first key was cracked by most of the hackers. As the clock ticked, the Easter eggs were discovered. Upon carving Rick Astley’s ’80s hit out of the PCAP file, many students asked, “What is this song?”

This was a very difficult challenge that pushed the “hackathoners” to dig deep in their security skill sets. Keys were discovered and learning was done by all. They even had fun along the way.

Thank you so much to LogRhythm for helping to make this a great day!

For more information on the CU ITP Network Security program, visit the CU ITP website.