Team of students to compete in national cybersecurity competition

Elliott Barrow, Michael Brooks, Brooke Hiltbold, and Bryant Richard.

A team of four University of South Carolina School of Law students will travel to Washington D.C. on March 17 to compete in the Atlantic Council’s U.S. Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge

The challenge is an annual cyber policy competition for students across the globe to compete in developing national security policy recommendations by tackling a fictional cyber catastrophe. The challenge looks beyond the crisis to see what policymakers would do after an attack.

First-year law student Brooke Hiltbold, second-year law students Elliott Barrow and Michael Brooks, along with third-year law student Bryant Richard created their own team and applied to be a part of the competition. After successfully answering a series of questions about cybersecurity, they were chosen to represent the School of Law. They recruited Assistant Professor Bryant Walker Smith as their coach. Smith is a nationally-recognized expert in the field of legal technology, specifically how it pertains to transportation.

The competition is open to students across all academic disciplines. The one-of-a-kind competition looks to challenge those who will be leading the future cyber security world. Student teams will confront a breach of national and international importance. Then they will compose policy recommendations, and justify their decision-making process. Teams will be judged on their consideration of the roles and implications for civilians, military, law enforcement, and private sector entities.

In addition to the competition, students will be able to attend several side events. Legal and international service professors, along with Barry Pavel, senior vice president, chair, and director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council, will speak to students before the competition begins. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-RI, will give a keynote address during the first day of competition. Students will also have the chance to meet recruiters from companies such as CyberSec Jobs, the Department of Homeland Security, and Facebook. Teams will attend a presentation from Capitol Hill Staffers, a hacking demonstration, and a networking reception at Baker & McKenzie, overlooking the White House and the National Mall.

For teams who advance to the semifinals, a second day of competition will take place. This is the fifth year for the Atlantic Council’s U.S. Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge. 

The D.C. competition is just one of three that will take place world-wide. In April, a similar European cyber competition will be held in Geneva, and in September, Sydney, Australia will host the first-ever Asia-Pacific leg of the competition.