Science & Technology

UWF Cyber Club places second in regional competition

The University of West Florida Cyber Club placed second in the Regional Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition, outranking prestigious cyber programs from the University of Central Florida, Auburn University and more. Last year, the UWF student team placed second in the regional competition and top 10 in the international finals.

“The CPTC is a class higher than other national cybersecurity competitions,” said Anthony Pinto, program coordinator for the undergraduate cybersecurity program and coach of the UWF Cyber Club. “Our students put great effort into training for weeks leading up to the competition, and it showed in their outstanding performance.”

CPTC focuses on mimicking the activities performed during a real-world penetration testing engagement conducted by companies, professional services firms, and international security departments around the world. The regional competition requires teams to locate and report vulnerabilities, as well as propose solutions to remedy them. Pinto said this provides more realistic, hands-on experience than other competitions, in which students defend networks, search for flags or claim ownership of systems.

“Seeing a changing environment in this competition prepares students for what they can expect in the real world,” Pinto said.

Members of the Cyber Club that participated in the event were: John Chamblee, captain; Mark Gaddy; Cody Morton; Tiffany Sulzbach; Kody Kimberl; and Emily Miller. To prepare, the students participated in weekly training workshops dubbed “Hacktivities” that started with beginner and intermediate level cyber skills to establish a baseline, before moving on to more advanced practices. Students were encouraged to host their own workshops as they learned new skills that could be taught to the rest of the team.

The finals will be held Jan. 6-9 at the Global Cybersecurity Institute in Rochester, New York. The UWF Cyber Club will find out in December if it has been selected as a wildcard participant for the international round.

For more information about CPTC, visit

For more information on the UWF Cyber Club, visit