Texas AFA Chapter Celebrates Successful Season for Local CyberPatriot Students

February 29, 2024   |   By Patrick Nugent

AFA’s Sam Johnson Chapter (formerly the Seidel Chapter) in Dallas, Texas, cheered on local CyberPatriot teams and students from the Allen High School Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) program as they participated in the semifinals of CyberPatriot XVI.

The teams dealt with cybersecurity vulnerabilities across a diverse and comprehensive training regimen with various operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Sripada.

In the first of two challenges, students tackled a web-based problem in which they had to find specific information on a file. Participants were then tasked with extracting specific information from a file or a web resource.

Second, the students dealt with binary exploration and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) encryption. Binary exploration typically involves analyzing and manipulating binary files (executable files) to understand their functionality or exploit vulnerabilities within them. SHA is a cryptographic hash function often used for data integrity verification. Participants often use a combination of programming, reverse engineering, cryptography, and problem-solving skills to tackle these challenges.

Team “Bravo Eagles” finished first nationally and is gearing up to travel to Maryland for the season’s championship competition from March 16-18. The students from the Allen ISD STEAM program performed admirably in the Cyber Patriot competition, showcasing their knowledge and skills in cybersecurity and information technology. The AFA Sam Johnson Chapter was proud of their efforts.

The partnership between the Sam Johnson Chapter and the Allen ISD STEM program is a shining example of how collaboration between industry experts and educators can inspire the next generation of cyber security experts. Initiatives like CyberPatriot—and AFA Chapters’ support of their local teams—play a crucial role in nurturing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness in educational institutions.