Tennessee Tech Moves Forward to the Global Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition Finals

(contact cerocmedia@tntech.edu, (931) 372-3519 for more information)
November 30, 2021

COOKEVILLE, TN – Recently announced on Twitter, Tennessee Tech’s CPTC team has secured a wildcard slot allowing them to move forward to the Global CPTC International Finals to be held in Rochester, NY January 6-9, 2022. This will the team’s first return to the finals since 2018.

First place regional winners Cal Poly Pomona, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Dakota State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Florida, and Masaryk University were guaranteed a finals position after regional competitions. Joining Tennessee Tech as wildcard winners are California State University – Fullerton, DePaul University, Drexel University, Stanford University, University of New Haven, University of Tulsa, and University of West Florida.

From the competitions website, “At its heart, CPTC is a bit different from several other collegiate Cybersecurity competitions. Instead of defending your network, searching for flags, or claiming ownership of systems, CPTC focuses on mimicking the activities performed during a real-world penetration testing engagement conducted by companies, professional services firms, and internal security departments around the world.”

“To give an idea of the level of this competition; during both the 2020-2021 and the 2019-2020 competition cycles, some teams had more than 100 students attend tryouts. During the Global Finals, competitors discovered zero-days in commercial technologies, registered them as CVEs, and designed a patch for the most critical vulnerability. Many students get co-op and career job offers as a direct result of the Sponsor Faire.”

Each year of the competition focuses on a different business sector. In the past, these sectors have included Energy, Finance, Transportation, and Healthcare. This year’s competition focus will be on the Food Manufacturing and Retail sector.

“We are thrilled to return to the finals this year! After a semester of restarts after COVID interrupted/modified so many competition schedules, it is nice to feel like we are back in the lane again. We are incredibly proud of the efforts of these young men and women” stated Eric Brown, assistant director for the center. The team consists of team captain Kaitlyn Carroll, Austin Brown, Austin Tice, Jesse Holland, Jacob Sweeten, and John Housley.  Five members of the six-member team are CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (a program funded by the National Science Foundation) students. 

More information about CPTC can be found at https://cp.tc. More information about Tennessee Tech can be found at https://www.tntech.edu/about.

About Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center

CEROC at Tennessee Tech University, established under the direction of Dr. Ambareen Siraj, is a center of excellence in the College of Engineering focused on K-20 cybersecurity education programs; research in emerging cybersecurity topics; and outreach programs to stakeholders in academia, government and industry.  CEROC is an NSA-designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) and host of the first and largest CyberCorps SFS program in the State of Tennessee.  CEROC, via Dr. Siraj’s work, is also the founding group for the Women in Cybersecurity initiative, the largest of its type in the world focusing on enhancing diversity within the cybersecurity workforce.  More information about CEROC and its programs can be found at https://www.tntech.edu/ceroc or by sending an email to ceroc@tntech.edu.