Chris Issing, Battelle five-year cyber professional, finished in the top 20 in the second round of the U.S. Cyber Games 2021 competition and has been selected to be part of the U.S. Cyber Team for the International CyberSecurity Challenge (ICC) in Athens, Greece in 2022.
The U.S. Cyber Games brings cybersecurity talent from across the country together for a “Capture the Flag”-style tournament and a chance to showcase their skills on a global scale. Capture-the-Flag (CTF) events are computer security competitions where teams compete in varies games that require a set of computer engineering and other cybersecurity skills to find solutions to puzzles. Classic CTF activities include reverse engineering, cryptography, hardware challenges, web applications, system exploitation and more. The team tries to rack up the highest score against other teams around the world. The competitions almost always require the team to solve problems in a short period of time, pushing them to try new and innovative solutions.
Chris started playing CTF games as a sophomore in high school. In his first tournament, he placed 250th by himself out of more than 2,000 teams and individuals. After that, he recruited other cyber enthusiasts at his school to form a team. Over the next eight years, he participated in several cyber tournaments. “I’m very competitive,” he admits. “I love solving puzzles. Every cyber challenge is just another puzzle to solve. I like to think outside the box and try new things—and I love seeing myself on the scoreboards.”
While honing his cyber talents at Battelle, Chris placed in the U.S. Cyber Games, and then competed in the U.S. Cyber Combine. At this level of competition, the athletes we’re put through the same tests top cyber companies and government agencies use in their evaluation of cybersecurity professionals. They we’re competing against each other for a coveted spot on the first U.S. Cyber team. Chris did well and was selected from the top 60 national Cyber Combine participants to serve on the U.S. Cyber team.
Chris will apply everything he has learned at Battelle and in the Combine to compete in the 2022 International Cybersecurity Challenge June 14-17. He will join a team of 20 other cybersecurity athletes (many of whom started their careers at Battelle) to compete against teams from all over the world to test their skills on a global scale.
Chris is honored to have been chosen as one of the members of the first U.S. Cyber Team. “It’s an honor to be able to represent the U.S. on an international level” Chris states. “Having the chance to work with elite cyber athletes and coaches to prepare for ICC has been an amazing experience. This competition has given us a great opportunity to challenge our skills and learn how to apply them in real-world settings”.