Granada Cybersecurity Club 2

GHS Cyber Teams with Mr. Baez (from left to right:)Jennie Ren, Daniel Thinfen, Clarissa Cheung, Daphne Yan, Mr. Baez, Chris Pearce, Tida Ngov, Hriday Sheth, Anusri Saraf, Kevin Cai, Molly McClaren, Elizabeth Paik (Photo courtesy of LVJUSD)

Two teams from Granada High School’s Cybersecurity Club finished strong at the Bay Area Regional Cybersecurity Competition, Bug Bounty, at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California.

Code Red finished first, while the Cyber Ducks were third, out of 16 cybersecurity teams representing middle schools, high schools, and community colleges in the Bay Area. The invitation-only competition was held Jan. 11.

Bug Bounty challenged teams to think like hackers and find ways for a physical computer system to be exploited by malicious attackers, detecting bugs and reporting them. “We hacked ATMs, cracked passwords, and got to access files we shouldn’t have had access to,” said club president Hriday Sheth.

In addition to their technical skills, co-president Molly McClaren said she believes that the teams’ unity and presentation skills set the Granada High School teams apart from others at the competition. “Communication was just as important as finding vulnerabilities,” she said. “Our key to success was communicating what we found with our teammates and communicating with the judges in a simple, effective and professional way.”

Miguel Baez, Granada High School Information Technology teacher and club advisor, said he was most impressed by his students’ supportive synergistic spirit. “This is truly a collaborative process built on our students’ desire to learn from one another, to support each other and to strive for excellence,” Baez said. “Through these competitions, students are learning about collaboration, computational thinking, and public speaking – all invaluable skills needed for their futures, whether they pursue careers in cyber-related fields or elsewhere.”

Granada’s cyber teams qualified for the regional competition by achieving high scores at several local cybersecurity competitions since the start of the school year.