Skip Navigation

UMGC Global Media Center
Cybersecurity Team Advances to Hack the Building Finals

Alex Kasten
By Alex Kasten
  • News |
  • Press Releases

Adelphi, Md. (May 17, 2023)--The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) cybersecurity competition team has advanced to the final round of Hack the Building 2.0, a virtual competition sponsored by MISI, an organization that helps companies discover cybersecurity solutions.

The UMGC team was among the 12 teams selected to join the main event, Hack the Building 2.0: Hospital Edition, an in-person competition to be held at the DreamPort technology facility in Columbia, Maryland, from Sept. 18-22.

“All of the credit goes to our cyber team students, many of whom are extremely skilled practitioners who work in the field and have an unparalleled passion for cybersecurity,” said Jesse Varsalone, collegiate associate professor of cybersecurity technology at UMGC and coach of the team. “Participation in the main Hack the Hospital event will provide our team access to invaluable technical training and presentations.”  

Unlike a typical capture-the-flag (CTF) competition, Hack the Building 2.0 is a force-on-force style hackathon in which cyber attackers and defenders play crucial roles in scenarios affecting critical city infrastructure. The qualifying competition unfolded during the last week of March and first week of April.

The five-member UMGC team included four graduate students majoring in cyber operations (Matthew Barr, Joel Francis, Michael Frauenhoffer, and Matthew Holt), and Jason Griffis, an undergraduate majoring in cybersecurity technology. Frauenhoffer served as team captain for the event.

UMGC's cybersecurity competition team is composed of students, alumni, and faculty who compete regularly in digital forensics, penetration testing, and computer network defense scenarios that help them gain experience to advance their cybersecurity skills and careers. The UMGC Multi-Dimensional Applied Relevant System (MARS) virtual lab environment, an NSA Center of Academic Excellence partnership, and other resources help students prepare for competitions.

The team, ranked among the top 50 in the National Cyber League in 2022, has received numerous honors throughout its history, including championships in local, national and international competitions. In addition to several top-three finishes in the Maryland Cyber Challenge, UMGC won the gold medal in the 2014 Global CyberLympics and took first place in 2015 in the inaugural DiploHack competition sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. UMGC also won a Silver Award in the 2016 National Cyber Analyst Challenge and finished third in the 2022 Maritime and Control Systems Cybersecurity Con Hack the Port competition.

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and military servicemembers. Today, UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education in Maryland and continues its global tradition with online and hybrid courses, more than 175 classroom and service locations worldwide, and more than 135 degrees and certificates backed by the reputation of a state university and the University System of Maryland. For more information, visit