Hackers cure their hunger for code

While Hungry, Hungry Hippos fight for small marbles, several Hungry, Hungry Hackers (H3) fought for a $750 prize and an interview opportunity with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in a 14-hour coding competition held on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Hosted by the GTRI Cyber Technology Group, Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and the Georgia Tech Association for Computing Machinery (GTACM), the hacking competition ultimately seeks to find coders who can break the system and then recruit them to cyber security.

“In cyber security research, the key to developing effective defenses is in understanding the threat. This event will provide an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of computers and networks and to build cyberspace exploitation techniques,said Fred Wright, an Electronic Systems Lab Chief Engineer at GTRI, in a press release published by GTRI.

In designing and hosting this competition, the applied research security community, consisting of GTRI, GTISC and GTACM, wanted to inspire “ethical hacking,” according to the H3 website.

“Beyond the increased value of education to the community, both the GTISC and GTRI believe that observing how someone goes through the actual art of hacking…provides invaluable perspective to the potential threats that we face as a society,” said a description on the H3 website. The H3 competition is loosely based on the US Cyber Challenge, which similarly seeks to harness the talents of coders. The competition itself was split into two phases, with only the top performers of the morning proceeding to the second phase; the entire competition extended over the course of the day.