Cyberpatriots win 4th in the state


Reilly Jusitan, Merric Justian, Michael Konja, and Teagan Fynan finished 4th in the state Cyberpatriots competition.

Trinity Drew, Staff Reporter

Woodhaven High School’s Cyberpatriots team consistently ranks in the top tier in the state. This year’s team—Merric Justian, Reilly Justian, Michael Konja, and Teagan Fynan—finished 4th in the state. But what exactly does this super-secret club of competitive cybersleuths do?

CyberPatriots is a team-based competition tasking students to find and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Every day brings news of companies being hacked or breached and critical information being leaked. This team is designed to learn skills to potentially deter and stop these attacks from happening. There was a shortage of people going into these fields, so the Air Force created this competition to help educate and inspire students to go into the field.

Each year, the Cyberpatriots participate in at least three games across the season. In the first two competitions, the scores are added up and the teams are assigned a ranking tier based on their ability: platinum (highest), gold, and silver. The third competition is the state round where the top three teams advance to the semifinal round, and the top 10 teams in the semifinals advance to the finals.

Competitions are 6 hours long. During this time, a team of 5 must find and fix vulnerabilities in multiple virtual computers to be awarded points. Think of it like a scavenger hunt inside a computer. The virtual computers run Windows 10, Windows Server, and Ubuntu Linux. There is also a networking challenge where the team must manage and configure a network. Cyberpatriot Merric Justian says, “Competitions are honestly really fun for me–you learn a lot just by making mistakes.”

Adviser Mr. Biver will hold a recruiting meeting at the end of the year for tech students with the critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills to succeed on the team and hopefully one day establish themselves in cybersecurity.