SETU Carlow Computing students place 2nd in the “All Ireland” of Cybersecurity competitions

SETU Carlow Computing students place 2nd  in the “All Ireland” of Cybersecurity competitions

Students from the Department of Computing, SETU Carlow Campus recently participated in an open Capture the Flag (CtF) event, held in Dublin on April 9th. A CtF is a computer security competition where participants compete in security-themed challenges for the purpose of obtaining the highest score. Competitors are expected to “capture flags” to increase their score, hence the name of the event. Flags are usually random messages embedded in the challenges which teams have to retrieve successfully.

Challenges vary from across a range of cybersecurity skills areas including cryptography, web application security, network security, digital forensics, reverse engineering and mobile security but they also include non-technical puzzles, crosswords and social challenges. The teams work together over a morning and afternoon session to complete the challenges, gaining points as they are solved.

This open event, run by ZeroDays, also doubled up as the Irish inter-colleges competition, where teams can represent their college, compete for prizes and also qualify to represent Team Ireland at European level in the European Cyber Security Challenge (ECSC), to be held in Vienna, Austria in September 2022.

The Department of Computing had two teams competing in the CtF, from across all years of the undergraduate Cybercrime and IT Security programme. Both teams performed admirably with team ‘LOKI’ scoring 4950 points and team ‘ATTU’ scoring 3020 points, while ATTU were unfortunate not to place, LOKI performed exceptionally well and placed second (after a battle with eventual colleges winner, ‘TheDec1phers’ representing NUIG) in the inter-colleges competition, which is a phenomenal achievement in this their first ever event as a team.

Computing Lecturer, Michael Gleeson commented, “We were all set two years ago to send our first team to this event, however the pandemic happened and put a stop to that plan so this is the first time to my knowledge that we have sent students to represent the Department of Computing. It is a super event for anyone interested in cybersecurity and computing in general and I would encourage all students to consider entering. It incorporates problem solving, technical ability and teamwork - all valuable skills for future careers in industry. Both teams have done fantastically well and they are great ambassadors for our Department. We hope to build on this and send more teams next year”.

Head of Department Nigel Whyte, commenting on the success, pointed to the career opportunities that a Computing degree can offer. “Cybercrime and IT Security is now an essential component of any organization and given the current shortage of skilled graduates, our BSc (Hons) in Cybercrime and IT Security are perfectly placed to fill this skills gap and provide excellent career oppertunities.”

Current graduates of this programme are working in technical companies like Security Risk Advisors, Veri and CipherTechs but also in diverse industries such as Kerry Group, Glanbia, State Street, UNUM and Sun Life Insurance. The Department of Computing, SETU Carlow campus offers honors and ordinary degree programmes in Cybercrime and IT Security, CAO code CW258. For more information see:

Top Picture (L to R) IT Carlow Students:
Jonathon Bourke, Daniel Vetrila, Caolan McMahon, John Brennan, Robert Stynes, Andrew Currie, Lorcan Greaves and Gabor Major.

Picture Above (L to R): Daniel Vetrila and Gabor Major accepting prizes for placing 2nd in the Irish on behalf of ‘LOKI’ (missing from picture Andrew Currie and Lorcan Greaves).