The University of Central Florida’s Cyber Defense Team has made a name for itself nationally and internationally.

In April of 2016, the UCF Cyber Defense Team (naturally) defeated nine finalist teams to take home the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition for the third year in a row.


Raytheon and the Department of Homeland Security, among others, sponsored the April 22-24 competition, stemming from regional competitions comprised of 180 teams and ultimately leading down to top-ten college and university teams from across the United States – the best from their region – to defend against cyber-attacks.

“It was surprising and fantastic,” team captain Jonathan Lundstrom said to UCF after learning the university’s team had won. “The anticipation was extreme.”

The year 2014 saw the UCF compete in the ‘World Cup’ of computer programming in Ekaterinburg, Russia, placing 21st in the world at the competition’s end. A pool of 8,000 regional teams tried their luck, including MIT and Stanford University, whom the University of Central Florida bested.

That record added to another – UCF has competed in the World Finals over 25 times since its establishment in 1982. It was, and still is, among the most successful records in the United States.

In the week prior to the competition, with a bit of foreshadowing, UCF gained the title of becoming a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Hack @ UCF team currently has 200 members, with the dozen from the competition practicing two-to-three times a week – normally adding to 20 hours in that time frame.