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Holmdel Cyber Security Club
Feb 28, 2018

HHS Cyber Security Club Qualifies for Semifinals

Holmdel Cyber Security Club

The Holmdel High School Cyber Security Club recently qualified as semi-finalists in the Northrop Grumman CyberPatriot competition.

According to the Air Force Association: CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program.  At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition places teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems. They are then tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six-hour period.  Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region. The top teams in the nation earn an all-expense paid trip to Baltimore, Maryland for the National Finals Competition where they can receive national recognition and scholarship money.

The Holmdel squad consists of five students: Cyrus Majd, Jonathan Marty, Michael Dasaro, Jerome Li, and Andrew Cornelio. The school district’s Network Engineer and club advisor, Steve Lelivelt remarked, “I am incredibly impressed with the advances these students have made in this global competition. The team has undergone intense rounds of competition. Each more difficult than the last, where they qualified for the highest ranked tier – the Platinum tier. The squad is currently within the top 25 percent of the top 30 percent of all high school teams competing in the Cyberpatriot contest, which is impressive.”

After finishing 4th place in New Jersey at the end of the Platinum Tier State Round, they will advance to the semifinals to compete against other qualifying teams for the chance to internationally rank 12th place or better. This will allow them to compete in the final competition – the National Finals Competition taking place April 15 through April 19.

As a proud advisor, Lelivelt said, “We should be especially proud of these kids. They have never had any formal training in this field, but when faced with the task, they found the means to do it, and they did it!”

The sentiment bodes well for the Holmdel students as they continue to rise to the challenge in all their endeavors, inside and outside of the classroom.