Global cyberlympics feature

The Cyber Padawans—a team of cyber security students, faculty, and alumni from University of Maryland Global Campus—defeated the world's best, including the three-time defending champion team from the Netherlands, to win the 2014 Global CyberLympics in Barcelona, Spain

It's the first time that the UMGC Cyber Padawans have won the event and their first world title in any competition. UMGC finished second in the 2012 Global CyberLympics.

"This was an amazing experience," said Jeff Tjiputra, the team's coach and the program chair of the undergraduate cyber security program at UMGC. "We swept through the regional competition, but the world final was very, very tough."

The CyberLympics is an online ethical hacking, computer network defense, and digital forensics competition, dedicated to finding the top cyber security teams in the world.

Regarding the "capture the flag" style competition in the global championship round on Monday, Tjiputra said his team told him "they never fought for control of a system this hard before."

Three of the nine teams (from the Netherlands, India, and Peru) that won regional competitions and competed in the finals were made up of professionals from Deloitte, the global consulting giant.

The UMGC Cyber Padawans qualified for the global championship after winning each of three rounds in the North America regional competition in August.

Members of the UMGC team include team captain Matt Matchen (alumnus), Armando Quintananieves (alumnus), John Arneson (student in the undergraduate cyber security program), Ben Heise (student in the undergraduate computer networks and cyber security program), Robert Murphy (adjunct faculty member in the computer networks and cyber security program), and Christophe McBee (student in the undergraduate software development and security program).

In addition to winning the CyberLympics title this year and finishing second in 2012, the UMGC Cyber Padawans' run of success also includes winning the collegiate and professional divisions of the Maryland Cyber Challenge in 2013.

UMGC has more than 7,000 students enrolled in cyber security bachelor's and master's programs. More than 80 students compete in various cyber security competitions throughout the academic year.