River Valley High School team beat 117 other teams to win cybersecurity competition

SINGAPORE — A team from River Valley High School withstood stiff competition to win a cybersecurity competition on Saturday, May 7.

The competition tested the teams’ abilities in various skills, including cryptography and machine learning.

The RVCTF (River Valley Capture the Flag) team defeated 117 other teams, comprising more than 470 students, in the fourth annual Cyberthon.

The grueling all-day competition involved solving 30 challenges that relied on a range of cybersecurity skills.

The race for first place was on the wire, with results up in the air until the last hour, but a team from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science and another from Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) have had to settle for second and third respectively.

Liu Jiaye, 19 years old; Guan Chen Di, Lucas Lau and Zhou Zehao, all 18, form Team RVCTF.

Jiaye attributed the team’s success to each member’s complementary strengths.

“Zehao is good at data science and programming, Lucas is good at (digital) forensics, while Chen Di and I are good at reverse engineering.

“During the competition, we could spread out the challenges without overlapping…(and that was) a key factor in helping us win because the competition is relatively short.”

“We can all focus on our own strengths,” he added.

The overall strength of their performance was such that they outperformed the NUS High School team, which won two other awards involving data science and solving complex challenges.

To score points for each challenge, participants must find a correct answer and submit it.

The number of points each challenge is worth, which is the same at the start of the competition, changes with the number of teams that end up solving each challenge.

The competition, which saw 19 schools compete, is open to pre-university students from junior colleges, centralized institutes and schools offering the International Baccalaureate.

The top three teams won cash prizes of $5,000, $3,500 and $1,500 respectively.

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