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​Holy hackers! Stanford team tries to change Gotham City elections

Computer science students win a national competition to see whether cybersecurity trainees could tamper with a mock election.

​Holy hackers! Stanford team tries to change Gotham City elections

June 27, 2018
Stanford undergraduates participate in a competition to build cybersecurity expertise.

Stanford undergraduates participate in a competition to build cybersecurity expertise. | Photo courtesy of Rochester Institute of Technology

In a competition meant to build and hone skills to discover, triage and mitigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities, Stanford Engineering’s Applied Cybersecurity Club recently beat out nine other teams to win first place in the National Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC) in Rochester, New York.

This national competition challenged 10 collegiate teams, all winners of previous regional contests, to find and exploit vulnerabilities in the mock election infrastructure of Gotham City, where superheroes ran for office against supervillains. In this video, the six undergraduate champions and their coach, Stanford Engineering IT staffer Alex Keller, share their experiences and stories.

Dan Boneh, professor of computer science and a leading cybersecurity and encryption expert, celebrated the students for their commitment to improving the security of the information networks on which so much of modern life depends.