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DACC cybersecurity team takes top spot | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


The DACC juniors on the team are Andrew Langan and Henry Reid. During the competition, teams act as IT professionals and have to secure four different virtual machines by removing viruses, changing passwords and increasing security.

Courtesy photo | Delaware Area Career Center

A team of Delaware Area Career Center students recently took first place in an Air Force-run cybersecurity contest and have advanced to the next level of competition next week.

The DACC team that took first place in Ohio in the CyberPatriot program consists of seniors Nolan Gregson, Maddox LaPrad and Wilson Lane, as well as juniors Andrew Langan and Henry Reid. The competition is called “The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition” and places the teams in the role of a newly hired IT professional tasked with managing the network of a small competition, according to the program’s website.

LaPrad, a student at Thomas Worthington High School, explained that the teams are given four virtual computers with different operating systems and have to reconfigure them in order to make them more secure through steps including removing viruses and unwanted software, as well as setting secure passwords.

The teams are then scored on how many fixes they make in a four-hour session.

Lane, a Westerville South High School student, said he was apprehensive about the competition because he enjoys attacking systems more than defending them, but he was pleased the team earned the top spot in the state and 14th in the country. He added the competition was a learning experience.

“You have to build on everything you’ve learned,” Lane said.

Gregson, an Olentangy High School student, agreed.

“(The competition) does a good job of actually applying what you know,” Gregson said.

Reid, a student at Olentangy Orange High School, said he’s proud of the team’s accomplishment.

“I’m really proud of my teammates, especially Andrew, he did a great job,” Reid said. “It’s really cool to be a part of this. I’m just really proud of my team.”

Langan, an Olentangy High School student, said he was “really excited” to hear the team had won first place.

“I didn’t think we were going to make it to the semifinals, but we got first in the state, so we’re moving on to the semifinals,” Langan said. “I was excited to hear that.”

The team said semifinals take place next week, and the winners there will advance to a competition in Maryland from March 8-12.

“I’m a little excited, a little nervous,” Gregson said Wednesday.

LaPrad said he plans to go into the Air Force after graduating and said the competitions have been good preparation.

“I felt it was a good learning experience and (would) get my foot in the door,” he said.

As for helping his school get some attention outside the local area, Reid said, “It feels really good to be representing DACC at the state level because we all worked really hard to get here. There’s a lot of studying involved and it’s pretty rigorous, so it feels good to be representing DACC.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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