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AU News

Center for Cybersecurity Offering Resource to Middle, High School Students

April 24, 2023
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316ctf offers fun, instructive challenges for those considering careers in cybersecurity.

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The Anderson University (SC) Center for Cybersecurity has released a free cybersecurity resource for middle-schoolers, high-schoolers and others.

This resource, known as 316ctf, is a free platform where people can learn various technical skills in cybersecurity while earning points by completing more hands-on challenges. Currently, there are 173 challenges across various domains such as Password Cracking, Cryptography,  Network Analysis, Open Source Intelligence and Image Analysis. 

316ctf is a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition where “flags” are secretly hidden for participants to find. Today, Cyber CTFs have become a fun forum for students to compete as a team while also gaining the knowledge and skills relevant to the cybersecurity field. CTF competition offers students a variety of challenges to test their cybersecurity skills in areas that include identifying hackers, auditing vulnerable websites and recovering from ransomware attacks. 

“I enjoy creating cybersecurity content that I wish I would’ve experienced when I was initially going through the rigor of learning and breaking into the field of cybersecurity,” said Dr. Brandon Grech of the Anderson University Center for Cybersecurity. 

Grech created 316ctf to be a gateway to learning various beginner and intermediate skills in cybersecurity across several domains. 

“A lot of CTFs out there are difficult and even frustrating for beginners, while also being up for a short amount of time. I wanted to create something persistent that was more appropriate for beginners to access, learn from and complete in its entirety,” he said. “Current cybersecurity professionals are confident in their technical aptitude because they’ve ‘seen it before.’ This CTF is designed to give you these first experiences, so when you encounter obstacles later in CTFs or in the field, you’ve seen it before and know you can accomplish the task at hand.”

There are currently, 461 users globally who are registered for 316ctf. Grech says that not only are the number of challenges growing, but also the number of users around the world. 

“This platform is not only reaching Upstate South Carolina, but also the nation and countries across the globe such as Ukraine, England, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Nigeria, Hungary, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, Czech Republic, France, India and Angola,” Grech said. 

Anybody can access this resource at Please reach out to Dr. Brandon Grech, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity, with any questions at

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