UM To Host Second Annual Cyber Triathlon

April 23, 2015

MISSOULA – After last year’s success, the University of Montana will host the second annual Cyber Triathlon from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2. High school and college students from across the state will converge on the UM campus to solve a digital forensics puzzle, a data analytics puzzle and a penetration-testing puzzle.

The first team to find the “Cyber Coin” by solving the puzzles will win cash prizes and a trophy. Second and third places also will be awarded.

Registration for the event and other information can be found online at, by calling UM Graduate School Postdoctoral Associate Raquel Arouca at 406-243-6695 or emailing

The Cyber Triathlon will start at 9 a.m. in University Center Rooms 330-332. Teams of up to five members will work on digital forensics and data analytics puzzles to find clues about the location of the Cyber Coin. In the afternoon the teams will make their way to the Cyberlab in the Interdisciplinary Science Building Room 107 to solve the final puzzle, which will involve hacking into folders to find the remaining clues.

If events play out like last year, teams will dash across campus to search for the Cyber Coin. The event will conclude with an award ceremony at 5 p.m.

New this year, the UM Office of Research and Creative Scholarship is offering a special prize for the top performing high school team at the competition. According to Scott Whittenburg, vice president for research and creative scholarship, “Last year a high-school team won the first leg of the triathlon, and we felt it was important to encourage students from Montana schools to continue to include cybersecurity in their future education and career goals.”

LMG Security has provided professional guidance and sponsored student interns to create the puzzles. “The Cyber Triathlon is like ‘Top Chef’ for information technology students throughout Montana,” said Sherri Davidoff, CEO of LMG Security. “Students get the chance to put their skills to the test and compete head-to-head using real-world cybersecurity and data analytics challenges.”

This event is made possible through a partnership among the UM’s Cyber Innovation Lab, the Data Science Committee and private sponsors, including ALPS Inc., LMG Security, KPMG, Oracle, Axiom, Arisant, ATG, UM Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, UM Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the UM School of Business Administration, the UM Graduate School and Missoula College.

Contact: Raquel Arouca, postdoctoral associate, UM Graduate School, 406-243-6695,