Students take first place at Deloitte cybersecurity competition

Ryan Xu, Patrick Naughton, Pranav Maddula and Yiheng Yao pose with their prize following the competition.
Yiheng Yao, Patrick Naughton, Ryan Xu and Pranav Maddula with their prize after placing first at the competition.
A team of students from the McKelvey School of Engineering took first place at the 2019 Deloitte Capture the Flag Competition.

Students Pranav Maddula, Patrick Naughton, Ryan Xu, and Yiheng Yao won $3,000 at the competition, hosted by Venture Café St. Louis. Maddula Naughton and Xu are sophomores, and Yao is a first-year student.

“I was really happy and surprised we won,” said Xu, who is majoring in computer engineering. “This was the first time I've participated in this kind of competition, so I went in without any experience or expectations. We definitely are looking to participate in more competitions like this.”

“I was surprised and happy that we won,” said Naughton, who is pursuing degrees in both computer science and electrical engineering. “It was a real shocker since I had never done this before.”

The competition, which challenged students to solve practical cyberchallenges in a simulated environment, assigned students to find a “flag,” or hidden strings of text, and submit them for points.