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WDT second best U.S. team in international cyber security competition

Students at Western Dakota Tech placed 39th out of over 700 teams from around the world, and were the second best USA team, in a 48-hour computer networking competition that began last Thursday.

The students have been competing, with instructor Matt Pawelski, in various Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions as a way to enhance their networking skills and have a little fun at the same time. Competing students tackle individual programming challenges and receive a flag and a corresponding point amount for each challenge completed. The competitions last between 24-72 hours, and qualifying teams are then invited to a finals challenge in the country that hosted that challenge. In the ASIS Cyber Security Contest held last week, WDT students were just a few places off from being invited to Iran for a final competition. They also placed right behind the team that is ranked number 1 in the world.

"CTF's are a great way to implement what I teach in class by exposing them to some real work computer/forensics/security scenarios," Pawelski said. "Students enjoy the fact that we can and do compete with universities from around the world."

According to Pawelski, the students will continue to compete in as many competitions as possible each year as time and schedules permit. He also says his students continually place in the top 20th percentile in the competitions.

Learn more by contacting WDT at (800) 544-8765, (605) 718-2565 or

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