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NYU's High-School Hackathon Uncovers Next-Gen Brilliance

The 13th annual NYU Cybersecurity Awareness Week (CSAW) games kicked off today in Brooklyn, bringing together top high school hackers and researchers for a war games contest.

From November 10-12, 2016, the downtown Brooklyn campus of New York University Tandon School of Engineering is hosting round-the-clock challenges designed to test a broad range of computer security skills.

Sister events will also be held for the first time at NYU Abu Dhabi and at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IIT Kanpur).

NYU noted that unemployment in cybersecurity is at zero percent, and there are one million unfilled jobs worldwide in cybersecurity this year alone, including 200,000 in the US. There are predicted to be 1.5 million unfilled security positions by 2020.

CSAW highlights include:

High School Forensics: A murder mystery unfolds live at CSAW, where 11 teams of U.S. high school students comb a staged crime scene in search of digital forensics clues to solve this 21st century whodunit. Ten teams will compete at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Capture the Flag: The signature event of CSAW, Capture the Flag, or CTF, runs for 36 straight hours, as 15 college student teams from the US and Canada hack through the night in this fast-paced, notoriously difficult test of both offensive and defensive security skills. NYU Abu Dhabi and IIT Kanpur will host CTF teams from the Middle East and North Africa, and India, respectively.

Policy Competition: Five finalists will present their public policy solutions designed to make it easier for companies to improve data security and protect consumer privacy.

Embedded Security Challenge: The toughest event at CSAW, this competition tackles one of the most frightening security threats: Malware embedded in the underlying hardware of electronics devices. This year, seven teams will defend against one of the most common security bugs: memory corruption.

Homeland Security Quiz: A lightning-fast security trivia game.

There will also be speeches from Lucas Moody, Palo Alto Networks, and Neil Hershfield, Department of Homeland Security; and a Career Fair, where more than 20 top companies will be hotly recruiting. A Women’s Symposium meanwhile will focus on what’s being done to bring more women to this lucrative, fascinating field.

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