Carnegie Mellon University
October 12, 2012

News Brief: Carnegie Mellon “Capture the Flag” Teams Reach CSAW Finals, Again

Contact: Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

PITTSBURGH—Two teams of Carnegie Mellon University students, PPP1 and PPP2, are among 15 teams to qualify to compete Nov. 15-17 in the finals of the Cybersecurity Awareness Week (CSAW) Capture the Flag competition at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

PPP1, which consists of senior computer science majors Alex Reece, John Davis and Tyler Nighswander and sophomore electrical and computer engineering major Maxime Serrano, placed second in the preliminary round. PPP2, which includes sophomore computer science  majors George Hotz, Robbie Harwood and Ryan Goulden and senior electrical and computer engineering major Garrett Barboza, placed sixth. David Brumley, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the team adviser.

A total of 639 teams worldwide participated in the preliminary round, the world’s largest Capture The Flag competition to date.

CMU teams from the Plaid Parliament of Pwning security research group have won numerous Capture the Flag crowns, including first place in the final round of the CSAW competition for the past three years. Brumley noted that PPP is ranked number one in the world among Capture the Flag teams for the second year in a row.

Capture the Flag is a test of computer security skills in which teams mount attacks on vulnerable applications and solve offense challenges to earn the most points, or “flags.”

For more information, see the CSAW website.