Lloyd Jones, a senior computer science major from Wise, took third place at the Virginia State Championship of the Cyber Aces competition March 2.
Jones won a trophy and a $2,000 prize for finishing third and won another trophy for being the first to crack the contest's second level of challenges. Jones was one of the top 60 competitors representing Virginia-based security professionals, graduate, undergraduate and high school students to advance from an online qualifier course to the championship event held at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington.
The four-hour long competition offered a variety of challenges, from .PCAP and log analysis to Metasploit exploitation and steganography in an ethical hacking and Linux skills competition using the SANS Netwars framework.
"I was blown away by the honor and the experience," he said. "It was intense to compete against some very talented people."
Cyber Aces Championships are a combination of competition, celebration, networking and learning opportunity. Jones also joined the competitors for an ethical hacking panel discussion and heard industry and technical presentations by security professionals from the FBI and Homeland Security.
"The success I have enjoyed has really motivated me to take my education further to the graduate level and go as far as I can in this field," he said.
This past summer, Jones won a $1,000 award for successfully capturing the flag at the Eastern Regional Cyber Camp, hosted by the United States Cyber Challenge (USCC), at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke.
Jones and his four teammates from across the country won the 'Capture the Flag' competition by penetrating and exploring a system set up by industry security professionals.
"Along with the great opportunities to learn and practice I have gotten at RU, this is a great morale boost," he said. "It gives me confidence that I can really show that I have the experience in this exciting field."