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UAB, Facebook, hosted cybersecurity 'Capture the Flag' games at Edge of Chaos on campus Saturday, March 22

Jesse Chambers | jchambers@al.comBy Jesse Chambers | 
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on March 27, 2014 at 3:43 PM, updated March 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM

edge of chaos_capture flag_3-22-14.jpgView full size"Capture the Flag" contestants at UAB on March 22 (submitted photo).

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- UAB and Facebook hosted a game of cybersecurity "Capture the Flag" Saturday to test the test the skills of young programmers and penetration testers from several state campuses.

Student teams from UAB, Auburn University, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, the University of South Alabama, Tuskegee University and Hoover High School took part in the contest, held at The Edge of Chaos events venue on campus.

A team from UAB won, according to a news release Wednesday from Edge of Chaos director David Hooks.

Facebook's "Capture the Flag" is a computer security competition that encourages players to solve security puzzles in a safe, controlled environment, according to the release.

The goal of these events is to further the education of security professionals and to promote Facebook's security culture.

The competition is comprised of challenges based on actual security concerns that come up in computer networks and systems.

UAB joined Stanford University as the first U.S. universities to host the Facebook event, according to a news release on March 21 from UAB spokeswoman Katherine Shonesy.

Gary Warner of Malcovery Security, who serves as the Director of Research in Computer Forensics at UAB, and Jennifer Morthland, Director of Development in the College of Arts and Sciences, were instrumental in encouraging Facebook to select UAB, according to Hooks.

Representatives from Facebook arrived at The Edge of Chaos late Friday afternoon to set up for the event, according to Hooks.

Facebook brought their own technology to complement that available at the venue and accommodate simultaneous high-speed Internet access for roughly 40 contestants. It was also necessary that the game be played on an isolated network, ensuring that no players had an unfair advantage.

For more information about The Edge of Chaos, call 205-934-7723 or go to

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