Students from 30 schools came together to participate and compete in Hack The Port 22, a virtual and live hybrid maritime and control systems cybersecurity conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The conference, which combined opportunities for students and cybersecurity professionals, featured two cyber competitions in which participants attempted to hack a simulated port environment.

Lynne Clark, Acting Chief of NSA’s Center for Education, Innovation and Outreach, said, "This competition will allow the students to perform, in-real time, the critical tasks that the future cybersecurity workforce needs. It is an opportunity for the students to show off their education in a real-world context."

The first cyber competition involved a series of scenario-based challenges that pitted the skills of students from 30 different schools against each other. Top performers from the first two days competed in a capture-the-flag-style challenge on Thursday, wherein they competed against a team of professional cybersecurity experts from industry and government. 

In addition to the cyber challenges, the student participants viewed “tech talks” and participated in development panels provided by U.S. government experts.