Carmel Valley school’s cybersecurity team goes to Cyber Boot Camp


Current and recently graduated Canyon Crest Academy cybersecurity team students participated in Securing Our eCity’s Cyber Boot Camp this summer. Securing Our eCity is a non-profit that helps facilitate a safer cyber experience for digital citizens in San Diego.

According to security solutions provider ESET that sponsors the boot camp, right now there is a shortage of people with the skills and training required to defend computer systems against criminals who range from data thieves to terrorists. Addressing this problem through improvements in education and career guidance is critical for the future.

A select group of students is invited to attend Cyber Boot Camp every June for five days of intense education in the art of defending computer systems. The group of students from CCA was able to attend the boot camp for free as a result of being finalists in the Mayor’s Cup in April.

The Mayor’s Cup is a cybersecurity competition in which teams are given machines and networks to secure. The team’s security implementations are then tested by a group of hackers trying to gain unauthorized access to the networks.

CCA’s cybersecurity team included rising seniors Simon Kuang and Kevin Wu, junior Emilia Copic, sophomores Nathan Thomsen and Rithvik Rao, and class of 2015 CCA grads Grant Summers, Keshav Tadimeti and Jonathan Luck.

All attended Cyber Boot Camp June 22-26.

“This was my second year attending Securing Our eCity boot camp, and to me it is worth it because of the freedom on exploring and learning,” said Jonathan, who will attend UC San Diego in the fall to study computer science. “We got to do stuff ranging from flying quadcopters (drones) to network exploitation. We had an isolated network that we were free to try things out in without worrying about damaging anything important.”

Jonathan said this year’s camp had a lot more guest speakers with military and National Guard backgrounds. He said it was interesting to see that in that setting they need personnel that have the students’ particular skill sets.

Each student in boot camp came away armed with a lot of tips for staying secure online. Jonathan said the overarching theme is “use common sense.”

“Don’t download files from places you don’t trust. Don’t open suspicious emails or click suspicious links. Don’t plug in USB drives you find on the ground or around the office,” Jonathan advised. “ If you have children, make sure they understand this as well.”

Securing Our eCity has a lot more information and resources on its website: