UBC Team Led by ICICS Member Robert Xiao Wins World’s Top Cybersecurity Competition

A student team from Computer Science led by Professor and ICICS member Robert Xiao joined forces with crews from Carnegie Mellon University and the startup Theori.io to win DEF CON 2022, the world’s top cybersecurity competition. Over the course of the three-day “Capture the Flag” competition held in Las Vegas from August 10-13, the 16 teams accumulated points by finding virtual “flags” in files on competitors’ servers. They also had the opportunity to hack into designated US voting machines and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The team had to get through a qualifying round against 468 other teams before making it to Def Con, and can now be considered among the top up-and-coming cybersecutity experts in the world. Professor Xiao previously led winning teams from Carnegie Mellon in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Dr. Xiao also participates in the UBC-Rogers Partnership on 5G research and development hosted by ICICS, conducting research on the use of 5G in Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality applications. In another project, he is part of a team led by ICICS member and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) professor Vincent Wong that has recently won a 3 year, $1.5M award for a project titled “Toward Situational-aware and Adaptive 5G Networks for Defence and Security: A Machine Learning Approach”. The award is sponsored  by the Canadian Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) in response to the rapid development and deployment of commercial 5G technologies.