Cyber Security Capture the Flag – Post by Victoria Kauffman ’22

    During this marking period, Lee McElligott ‘23 and I, Victoria Kauffman ‘22, participated in multiple cybersecurity ‘Capture the Flag’ competitions. These contests—and the practices for them—consisted of a series of challenges in which we used various cybersecurity techniques to find the ‘flag.’ These challenges exposed us to situations such as web exploitation, scripting, steganography, and utilizing Python programming for cybersecurity. We also learned how to conduct penetration tests with SQL, JavaScript, and other methods, as well as how to use the Linux OS. Neither of us had any experience in the field prior to our exploits in these contests, and these opportunities have encouraged us to continue to pursue cybersecurity. 

    Our participation in these contests has enabled us to collaborate and learn through trial and error. Working through each challenge, we have greatly enjoyed enhancing our skills in a competitive and goal-based environment in order to learn how to solve similar problems in the future. We plan to compete in similar competitions in the future and continue expanding our skills in cybersecurity. 

    We also have been working on various other areas in Computer Science. Lee has been learning how to code in Python—a language used in various aspects of the field, particularly cybersecurity and software engineering. They have also been focusing on improving their skills in web development and have learnt JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. I have been a mentor to multiple sophomores, teaching them basic Java and computer science principles. I have also begun a project geared towards introducing teenagers to the basics of coding.

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