RU senior captures the flag, cash and valuable hands-on cyber security experience

RU's Lloyd Jones, a senior computer science major, was a member of the winning team at the recent U.S. Cyber Challenge Capture The Flag Competition in Roanoke.

RU's Lloyd Jones, a senior computer science major, was a member of the winning team at the recent U.S. Cyber Challenge 'Capture the Flag' Competition in Roanoke.

Lloyd Jones, a senior computer science major from Wise, Va., won a $1000 award for successfully capturing the flag at the recent Eastern Regional Cyber Camp, hosted by the United States Cyber Challenge (USCC) at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke.

Jones earned an all-expense-paid trip to the five-day, specialized cyber security training that included workshops, a job fair and the culminating "Capture the Flag" competition by successfully passing  CyberQuests, the organization's qualifying online test.

 "I learned a ton and it was all new, the level of sophistication was a great opportunity for me," said Jones, who appears (at about 3:00) on this CBS News This Morning report of the event.

Jones was one of about 60 students from across the country invited to the event out of almost 1,000 who took the CyberQuests test. Jones said he took full advantage of the experience that included workshops led by college faculty, SANS Institute instructors and cyber security experts.  The SANS Institute is a cooperative research and education organization representing global organizations, corporations and universities working together to help the information security community.

"The ethics panel discussion and the reverse engineering presentations were among the many highlights for me," said Jones, who was joined at the event by another RU computer science student - Charisse Scott, a senior from Roanoke.  

Jones and his four teammates from across the country won the 'Capture the Flag' competition on the event's final day with a five-hour session devoted to penetrating and exploring a system set up by industry security professionals.

"We were just assigned to our teams the night before, so we couldn't really strategize," said Jones, a member of RU's team in the national 2013 Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at Johns Hopkins University this spring. "We had to delegate and organize quickly based on our individual strengths. Fortunately, my teammates were a bunch of skilled individuals."

As a member of the winning team, Jones also earned a voucher to take the certification exam as a Secure Systems Certified Practitioner which he described as an important baseline certification for the cyber security industry and resume builder.

"Along with the great opportunities to learn and practice I have gotten at RU, this is a great morale boost," he said. "It gives me confidence that I can really show that I have the experience to find a good internship and job in this exciting field."

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Jul 29, 2013
Don Bowman
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