(Sept. 23, 2019) -- The National Security Agency/Central Security Service launches their 2019 Codebreaker Challenge with a tech talk at UTSA on Sept. 23. Hosted by the UTSA National Security Collaboration Center and NSA/CSS Texas, the event is free and open to all students and their faculty mentors from the San Antonio and the South Central Texas region.
Codebreaker Challenge developer Eric Bryant will present the tech talk and answer questions about this year’s challenge, focused on mobile message application.
The NSA Codebreaker Challenge provides students with a hands-on opportunity to develop their reverse-engineering and low-level code analysis skills while working on a realistic problem set centered around the NSA’s mission.
The event will take place at the UTSA Main Campus in the John Peace Library fourth floor Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22). Doors open at 2:30 p.m. The talk is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. with a Q&A to follow. Pizza will be served. Representatives from NSA/CSS Texas and Maryland HQs will have a recruitment table for students to liaise and ask questions before and after the talk.
“Developing complex coding skills is vital to our national security to defend against both existing and emerging cyber threats,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Guy M. Walsh, who is executive director of the UTSA National Security Collaboration Center. “The demands in both government and industry for a trained workforce and employees with coding and programming skills continues to grow. UTSA prides itself in teaching our students both technical skill sets as well as how to think strategically to resolve challenges that have no defined solutions in the cyber world.
A type of Capture the Flag scenario is created where students use their skills and acumen to do some reverse engineering, vulnerability analysis, and exploit development. There is usually a unique twist added to test the participants. In 2018 the scenario involved exploiting ransomware developed using Ethereum Smart Contracts. That same year, there were 377 entries from across the country with the Oregon State team winning the 2018 Codebreaker Challenge with nearly 35,000 points.
The Codebreaker Challenge consists of a series of tasks that are worth varying amount of points based upon their difficulty. Once the Challenge goes live, all tasks are available and can be solved in any order, although there may be some dependencies between them. Point value is based on relative difficulty. It is still recommended to solve tasks in order as the tasks flow with the storyline, but that is not a requirement. Solutions may be submitted at any time for the duration of the challenge. Schools are ranked according to the total number of points accumulated by their students.
“Codebreaker Challenge is a unique, nontraditional approach to recruiting, where we are introduced to talented students and amazing schools,” said Kathy Hutson, senior strategist for Academic Engagement at the NSA.
Learn more about the Codebreaker Challenge
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Organized by faculty and staff from the College for Health, Community and Policy, the third Texas Latino Policy Symposium convenes academics, practitioners and activists from across the state to engage in discussions that examin the need of our Latino population and the impact of COVID-19 in Texas. The goal of this symposium is to formulate policy responses to propose to the Texas legislature that redress the disproportionate lasting impact the pandemic has had on Latino families.Virtual Event
This panel will discuss hispanic serving institutions and their role in serving students and their communities. Sandra Garza, PhD,, assistant professor and coordinator of the Mexican American Studies Program at Northwest Vista College; Paul J. Rodriguez, Ed.D., project director for PIVOT for Academic Success at UTSA; Erin E. Doran, Ed.D., assistant professor of higher education at Iowa State University; Andres Puente, sports marketing major at UTSA and Lilianna Saldaña, PhD., associate professor and program coordinator for the UTSA Mexican American Studies Program will be a part of the panel.Virtual Event
Join Excelencia in Education online for the national announcement of the 2020 Examples of Excelencia. Selected programs in colleges, universities and community-based organizations across the country will be recognized for their positive impact on Latino student success.Virtual Event
All students and employees are able to get their flu shot and other vaccines at the Main Campus from October 6 to 7 and at the Downtown Campus on October 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the clinic and the influenza virus, visit the Roadrunner Return page.Denman Room (SU 2.01.28)
In this gathering hosted by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, attendees will discuss the potential role restorative justice has in anti-racism work. The event will also focus on how people of color persevere in hyper racialized white systems.Virtual Event
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.