Cybersecurity Team Secures First Place Standing in New York State

Come Saturday, December 9, the computer science room in the IEC will be central command for the winning Masters’ Cybersecurity Team.

That’s when the team — Alice Fuller ’25, Gretta Hong ’25, Xing Lyu ’26, Ihor Makhynia ’24, Teddy Meyer ’24, Yehor Shudrenko ’26, Laura van Ritbergen ’24, Luolan Laura Yuan ’25 and Mohan Zhang ’26 — will defend their first-place standing in New York state in the CyberPatriot XVI competition. After successfully completing two rounds this fall, the Masters team is number 1 in New York state out of 47 New York teams and ranked 41st overall out of 3,557 teams nationally. The students are preparing for the state round on December 9.

Through a series of online competition rounds, the CyberPatriot competition challenges high school and middle school students to find and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities in virtual operating systems. The top teams go on to earn national recognition and scholarships.

“This reflects all the hard work our team has put into practicing, learning and coding over the past three months,” explained Meyer, the team’s co-captain along with Makhynia.

Like any proud coach, John Chiodo, director of innovation, engineering and computer science, is thrilled for the group. “It is really about the team as a whole — how they get along and how they help each other,” he said.

Meyer attributed their recent accomplishments to “each team member's ability to work fast at finishing their individual responsibilities each round so that we can work as a team on harder topics.”

Chiodo noted that it also helped that “Teddy and Ihor have written scripts that automate a lot of the fixes that are routinely done manually, which has improved our time to completion.”

In preparation for the upcoming state round, Meyer has been “studying networking automation and security in order to complete the round's Cisco Networking Challenge.” He explained that “This challenge involves configuring and securing a virtually represented computer network utilizing a virtualization software called Cisco Packet Tracer.”

Chiodo has no doubts the team could go all the way. “I am fairly confident that the team will advance to the national semifinals,” he said. “As a team that is currently among the top 1% of teams in the country, they could go farther.”

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