A team from National Security Agency (NSA) Georgia was proud to join Georgia Tech’s yearly hackathon, HackGT, to mentor student participants and guide them through NSA-sponsored challenge problems.
Hackathons are “innovative marathons” where students with an interest in cyber can learn and apply new skills, connect with others, and bring their ideas to life. One of the largest collegiate hackathons in the country, the annual HackGT hackathon attracts some of the most creative and experienced student hackers from around the world. These young hackers showcase their creativity by working on individual or team projects and develop innovative solutions to challenge problems presented by NSA and others.
Over the course of this year’s three day event, named HackGT 9, from October 21-23, students attended tech talks and workshops and received career guidance directly from NSA employees who shared their backgrounds and paths to the Agency. Students also had the opportunity to speak with the NSA team about how their diverse skills might one day contribute to the NSA and wider Intelligence Community mission.
Agency subject matter experts were on hand to guide students through three NSA-sponsored problem challenges, providing both in-person and virtual technical mentoring.
James C. successfully completed the four tasks available at HackGT 9 from NSA’s Codebreaker Challenge. The OnePiece team earned first place in an NSA-sponsored steganography problem, in which students had to find and decipher a hidden message within a picture. The FastByte team was awarded first place in an NSA-sponsored challenge focused on tracking down the source of malicious data.
NSA is dedicated to empowering the next generation of cyber leaders through competitions like HackGT. These hackathons maintain our Nation’s competitive edge by developing a strong pool of experts in fields of critical importance to NSA and IC’s collective mission. These hacking challenges mirror the real world situations faced by NSA; the skills, problem-solving, and creative thinking needed to work through them are what the Nation needs to face the challenges of tomorrow.