This post features students who have taken part in the CyberStart America programme and have become finalists in the National Cyber Scholarship Competition.
We asked five students to share how playing CyberStart helped prepare them for a national scholarship competition and win $2500!
The National Cyber Scholarship Competition is an annual competition that awards college scholarships of $2,500 to at least 600 U.S. high school students. One of the routes to qualify for this opportunity is by playing CyberStart via CyberStart America.
We caught up with Brooke, Molly, Saahas, Boaz and Harini to see how CyberStart prepared them for the competition and uncovered their hidden talent!
Without the skills I learned in CyberStart Game, I would not have been able to complete barely any of the challenges that I was presented with in the National Cyber Scholarship Competition.
Participating in CyberStart America helped prepare me for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition in a multitude of ways. The first thing it did was spark my interest and get me excited about the competition. Without this, I would not have done as well as I did.
Secondly, it taught me many important skills that I used in the competition. One big example of that was reading pcap files. There were some challenges in the HQ base that helped me with those challenges in the competition.
The way that CyberStart America was set up helped me stay engaged and learn valuable skills that I needed to be successful in the National Cyber Scholarship Competition. Without the skills I learned in CyberStart Game, I would not have been able to complete barely any of the challenges that I was presented with in the National Cyber Scholarship Competition.
Molly, New Jersey
CyberStart taught me nearly everything I used in this competition and also really piqued my interest in all of these topics.
I learned so much from a variety of cyber security competitions, and all played a different role in my preparation. CyberPatriot is what first exposed me to the world of cybersecurity. It was through my participation in CyberPatriot that I learned what cybersecurity is, what’s included in it, and how interested I am in it.
I learned the most about the topics included in the NCS Competition from CyberStart America. There were so many things I learned from CyberStart America that I didn’t even know existed, never mind knew how to use in a competition; from learning how to read a website’s source code to learning what digital forensics is to learning about different website vulnerabilities and so much more. CyberStart America taught me nearly everything I used in this competition and also really piqued my interest in all of these topics.
PicoCTF was the first capture-the-flag I was exposed to that was very competition-based and with a format most similar to the NCS Competition. This made me feel ready to tackle this competition, as I knew a little bit more what to expect from this sort of competition.
I especially enjoyed using the Field Manual; the video tutorials complemented by the reading sections provided a solid beginner foundation for learning Linux.
CyberStart America played a very prominent role in my success in the National Cyber Scholarship Competition. Before CyberStart America, I had no idea how to use the Linux operating system, and I was vaguely familiar with forensics and encryption concepts. However, the vast number of challenges provided by CyberStart America provided a great introduction to these concepts.
I especially enjoyed using the Field Manual; the video tutorials complemented by the reading sections provided a solid beginner foundation for learning Linux. I also took the Field Manual’s suggestions for cyber security tools and developed an intermediate understanding in Wireshark, GHex, Metasploit, and many other tools.
Participating in CyberStart America allowed me to dive headfirst into real-world cybersecurity scenarios where I act as a security special agent.
Participating in CyberStart America allowed me to dive headfirst into real-world cybersecurity scenarios where I act as a security special agent. Along the way, I picked up standard protocols that one would take in certain scenarios.
On top of the standard protocols, I also learned that creativity can really make a challenge much easier to solve because the flag can be found in multiple ways, with some methods being much simpler and more efficient than others.
Through CyberStart America, I learned where to start in each of the challenges I faced in the NCS Competition and additionally learned to apply my creativity into capturing flags during the competition.
Harini, New Jersey
Participating in CyberStart America challenges was incredibly beneficial in preparing me for the NCS Competition.
Participating in CyberStart America challenges was incredibly beneficial in preparing me for the NCS Competition. The challenges and concepts learned during the CyberStart America challenges were what helped me complete challenges during the competition.
I learned about utilizing web tools and image steganography among some other topics. The opportunities CyberStart America provided were crucial for the NCS Competition.
Do you think you could develop your cyber security skill set and compete for college scholarships? Learn valuable cyber skills, gain the best preparation for future CTF’s, and even earn scholarships by playing CyberStart!
Register for a free license when one of the programmes below are open or get started right away by purchasing a CyberStart license!