Hello all and welcome to the 2021-2022 school year. We’re all stoked to get things rolling now and it’s even better that we get to do everything in person. There are lots of items in motion for the officer cadre involving talks, workshops, activities, a partnership with ACES, competitions, and a new lab space! This is our very first post on our new website (based on a Hugo front-end), in which we will lay out some of our plans for this year.
These meetings will be held weekly or bi-weekly in-person. These meetings usually take the form of a talk and will be based around a specific topic like kernel hacking, cryptography, or even the Internet. These aren’t as hands-on as workshops, but are filled with information on the ins and outs of cybersecurity. We plan on having security researchers, sponsors, various cybersecurity companies, or our own members to come in and give a talk about their passion within the industry. Keep an eye out for announcements on whether there will be food (most-likely pizza) before these meetings.
Workshops are a great way to dive into the practical realm of cybersecurity. We already have multiple ideas in the works and plan on bringing back some workshops we have done in the past like lockpicking and hardware hacking. These types of meetings are very hands-on and allow you to interact with more members of the club as well as us (the officers).
We participate in numerous competitions as a club! Our VP and Competition Team Lead, Alden (birch), is the main point-of-contact for everything about the following competitions.
Every year, we represent the University of Maryland at MACCDC by bringing 12 club members (4 of which are backups, 1 is manager) to go for gold! Collegiate cyber defense competitions are blue-team based, where the Red-Team (industry penetration testers) are tasked to demolish your network in many ways. They are given access to your network for 15 minutes before you (the blue-team) is even able to hook up to. This is usually a very chaotic event, but it’s an amazing time!
There are two types of CTF competitions: jeopardy-style and attack-defense.
Jeopardy CTFs consist of many challenges/puzzles existing in a set of categories. Common categories include binary exploitation, reverse engineering, web exploitation, cryptography, OSINT, and miscellaneous. We generally compete in a competition every weekend (on Discord) since more and more competitions are taking place due to the online nature COVID-19 has brought forth. For competitions we want to compete seriously in or for those with team limits, we will most likely divide teams up based on skill-level/experience. In Discord, we have a bot called CTFBot, which is a very handy tool for organizing teams and interfacing with CTF platforms.
Attack-defense competitions are more like CCDC in the sense that you have services to defend, but also services to attack. These competitions are usually held as a Finals event like DEFCON Finals and Hack-a-Sat Finals.
UMDCTF is a yearly CTF usually scheduled during the spring semester, which we throw on as a club. The officers will all develop challenges, but we are always looking for more challenge developers. If you are interested in developing challenges, hit one of us (the officers) up via email/Discord. This, of course, means that you would not be able to compete in UMDCTF 2022. Other than that, club members and everyone from across the world are invited to compete in our competitions and be eligible for prizes!
We have secured a lab space! Our lab (also in the footer) is located in A.V. Williams on the fourth floor (AVW4425). All of the officers will be receiving swipe access to the lab and will open up the doors sometimes on weekends or on weekday nights (TBD).
This all pretty much sums up what we have in-store for everyone for this school year. Most of this information is also available on our CSEC101 Presentation. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on how to make the club better, feel free to hit us up!