UNCW Cyber Defense Team Qualifies for Nationals in 2019 Wicked6 Cyber Games

Friday, August 02, 2019

UNCW's Cyber Defense Team is prepared for national competition following a strong regional performance in the Wicked6 exhibition, an annual cybergames fundraiser that supports hacker camps for women and girls.

The UNCW team placed in the top six out of 20 competing universities nationwide at the exhibition’s regional event in June. The national event will take place Aug. 8 at Las Vegas’ HyperX ESports Arena. During the competition, teams work in real time to defend an industry-specific organization from a simulated cyber-attack. Leading computer science experts attend the exhibition and shout support and assistance to the teams on stage.

“This competition is a great opportunity for these students to develop their skills in cybersecurity and to network with potential employers,” said Curry Guinn, chair of the Department of Computer Science.

UNCW's qualifying team consists of four students: Chris Nichols ’19 and Matt Craft ’19, both information technology majors minoring in cybersecurity; Eric Vandergrift ’19, a computer science major with a minor in statistics; and Nouran Alotaibi ’20, a computer science major. They were coached by Jeff Cummings and Ulku Clark from the Department of Business Analytics, Information Systems & Supply Chain and Geoff Stoker from the Department of Computer Science.

“Our technologically-reliant world is critically dependent on having safe, reliable and secure computer networks, databases and communications,” said Guinn. “We need a workforce that is trained in combating the ever-growing menace of cybercrime. UNCW’s cybersecurity educational program prepares students to understand the technical details behind cyberattacks, how to prevent them, and how to understand organizational policies that can help to mitigate those risks.”

-- Victoria Gonzalez ’19