Student Groups

UMBC Cyberdefense Team

The CyberDawgs are a group of UMBC students, both undergraduate and graduate, who share a common interest in computer and network security. The team holds general meetings once a week, and no prior experience is required to attend.  Team meetings are an inclusive environment conducive to learning relevant cybersecurity tools and techniques and a place to meet like-minded students and discuss all things cybersecurity.  The CyberDawgs are based in the DREAM lab, with Drs. Nicholas and Forno as faculty advisors.

The CyberDawgs are the 2017 National Champions of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), 2019 National Champions of the DOE CyberForce competition, and repeat winners and/or finalists at the Maryland Cyber Challenge, among other regional and national cyber competitions.  In addition to competing in competitions, the team regularly hosts and conducts free CTF-type events and workshops to bring cybersecurity interests to a wider audience across campus.   Visit the team’s website here.

UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Association at USG

This USG Cyber Association promotes the study of cybersecurity and raises general cybersecurity awareness and knowledge in the community through discussions, guest speakers, campus outreach, and cyber competitions in/around the UMBC campus at Shady Grove in Rockville, MD.  Contact Dr. Ben Shariati for information.


Each fall, UMBC’s premier hackathon group, hackUMBC, hosts an annual 24-hour Major League Hacking (MLH)-endorsed hackathon on campus that includes both the hackathon and a series of workshops run by event sponsors/mentors. Frequently, there are student participants producing security-related hacks related to networking, machine learning, visualization, and more. (Many of the event sponsors, such as NSA, T. Rowe Price, General Dynamics, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Northrop Grumman – among others – have strong interest in cybersecurity matters.)   hackUMBC also offers periodic workshops on campus to expose interested students to the world of hacking, hackathons, and maker-faires.  Dr. Frank Ferraro is the current hackUMBC faculty advisor.