UMUC Cyber Team Earns Silver in Global Competition

November 2, 2012

The UMUC Cyber Padawans—a team of undergraduate cybersecurity students, alumni and faculty—earned silver at the Global CyberLympics, held at the Hacker Halted Conference on October 29 in Miami, Florida.


From left, UMUC Cyber Padawans Robert Murphy, faculty member; Armando Quintananieves, student; Jeff Tjiputra, faculty member; John Arneson, student; Christopher Kuehl, alumnus; and Matt Matchen, student.

Cybersecurity at UMUC

UMUC offers a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks and Security; an undergraduate minor in cybersecurity; Master of Science programs in Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Policy, and Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigations; and five graduate certificates. All programs are available entirely online.

Learn more about UMUC’s cybersecurity programs.

USM Positioned in the Epicenter
of Cybersecurity

Maryland is home to the U.S. Cyber Command, the national base for efforts to defend and protect U.S. information networks. Recognized nationally as the epicenter of information security and innovation, the state boasts vast resources of federal facilities, academic institutions, industry strengths and intellectual capital.

The University System of Maryland is educating the nation’s next cyber leaders, offering cutting-edge cybersecurity programs at UMUC; as well as University of Maryland, College Park; and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The Cyber Padawans—whose name is a nod to Jedi apprentices from "Star Wars"—were the only university-level team to compete at the global level, facing eight professional teams in a Capture the Flag head-to-head challenge.

"The entire UMUC community is extremely proud of what the Cyber Padawans have accomplished," said Javier Miyares, president of UMUC. "To finish as one of the top two teams in the world is a testament to the team's effort and skill and to the quality of our cybersecurity program."

Representing the Cyber Padawans were UMUC students John Arneson, Armando Quintananieves, and Matt Matchen; UMUC alumnus Chris Kuehl; and UMUC faculty members Jeff Tjiputra and Robert Murphy. All of the student members are pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in Cybersecurity or Computer Networks and Security. After the competition, two of the students were interviewed for cybersecurity jobs at top firms attending the Hacker Halted conference.

To qualify for the Global CyberLympics, the Cyber Padawans had to advance through three increasingly difficult rounds that tested their skills in forensics, penetration testing and computer network defense. In the third round, which earned the team its spot in the global competition, the Cyber Padawans topped a field of almost 80 teams from North America.

For the global competition, the teams were presented a Capture the Flag challenge. The six-member teams were given six hours to infiltrate 30 servers hosted on a variety of operating systems to plant a file and prevent it from being removed by other teams.

Deloitte Netherlands won gold after placed their file on 10 servers. The Cyber Padawans, earning silver, placed their file on three servers. No other team infiltrated more than one server.

By earning second place, the Cyber Padawans ranked ahead of more than 220 worldwide teams that competed in the four rounds of the CyberLympics.

The Global CyberLympics is a nonprofit initiative of the EC-Council Foundation, supported by the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union. Its goal is to raise awareness about education and ethics in information security. For the second-place finish, the Cyber Padawans were presented World Champion medals and a $750 prize.

UMUC students interested in joining the Cyber Padawans should e-mail