Two University of Central Florida computer science students have made it to the Olympics of cybersecurity.
Senior Matthew McKeever and graduate student Jeffrey DiVincent will represent the U.S. as part of the country’s 30-member Cyber Team, which competes in various international scrimmages.
This will mark the second time McKeever has made the team.
“The Cyber Games play a strategic role in preparing our cybersecurity workforce for a highly dynamic future created by digital innovations such as AI, quantum technologies or biotech,” said U.S. Cyber Games Commissioner Jessica Gulick in a release. “As we enter our third season, the caliber of cyber talent is advancing, enabling our program to evolve from skills-based to helping athletes practice rapid triage, cognitive endurance, situational awareness and teamwork.”
The U.S. team participates in a handful of events, including the Cyber Games and International Cybersecurity Challenge. Competitions generally include various cyber competition formats, including capture the flag and hardware challenges.
McKeever and DiVincent are members of UCF’s Collegiate Cybersecurity Competition, which recently placed first in the U.S. Department of Energy’s CyberForce Competition.
“Meeting and interacting with the various countries at the competition was enlightening, learning their culture and socializing in general, but more importantly, fun,” said McKeever, who was named to the team last year, as well. “Everyone was extremely talented and respectful, but also competitive.”
Though he is new to the national team, DiVincent has already competed on an international level as a member of the UCF C3 team this year.
“The two things I am most excited about are the ability to learn from some of the country’s best young minds and getting to travel around the world,” he said. “I love learning, and I love seeing the world.”
The appointments to the team carry on a strong tradition for UCF’s cybersecurity program, which has racked up 80 first-place finishes in the last 12 years.
“UCF is recognized as a cybersecurity powerhouse far beyond campus due to our performance record in multiple cyber competitions every year,” coach and associate instructor Tom Nedorost said. “We compete in more competitions and practice together as a team than other schools. overall, Over the past 12 years, we’ve brought home 80 first place, 24 second place and 23 third place awards to date.”