CLEMSON – Nearly 60 students representing eight universities from around the Southeast will turn Clemson University’s Hendrix Student Center into a cybersecurity battleground in Saturday’s GhostRed competition, held in conjunction with General Electric (GE) Power engineers and Clemson University’s Office of Information Security and Privacy.

The event, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second-floor ballroom, pits teams of four against each other in a Jeopardy-style, computer-based Capture the Flag competition. This competition, built and conducted by a volunteer team of GE engineers, challenges students to get hands-on with industrial control systems, programming, technology trivia, networking, cryptography and more.

“Students will learn and gain real world cybersecurity knowledge and understanding while having fun during this event competing with their collegiate counterparts from other universities,” said Kevin McKenzie, Clemson’s chief information security officer.

Teams representing Clemson, Auburn University, The Citadel, Columbus State University, Kennesaw State University, the University of South Alabama, the University of South Carolina and Southern Wesleyan University will square off for prizes and bragging rights in the one-day competition. Clemson will field four teams, South Carolina will enter three teams and Columbus State and South Alabama each plan to bring two.

The event, free to attend, will feature participants from all experience levels and aims to improve cybersecurity awareness and spark interest in the cybersecurity field for students.

“Across the board, the cybersecurity industry has extreme shortages of necessary professionals to fill roles today where events like this can create awareness and interest in the industry,” McKenzie said.