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About ISTS


The Information Security Talent Search (ISTS) competition is an annual three day cyber attack/defend competition hosted at the Rochester Institute of Technology by SPARSA. Each year, colleges from around the North East compete for the coveted title of ISTS champion. Competitors are faced with a wide variety of challenges which are designed to cover as many facets of computing security, system administration, networking and programming as we possibly can. These challenges include code review, architecture design, incident response, and policy writing all while defending a completely student built infrastructure.

Past Challenges


Network/System Audit

Evaluate the current state of the environment and prepare a presentation highlighting infrastructure vulnerabilities and the appropriate remediation.

Threat Intelligence

Set up a honeypot and report the top fifteen attackers every hour.

System Administration

Your companies aging servers must be replaced. Evaluate three cloud solutions that we can migrate critical services to. Include a 12 month cost analysis.

"Not only did I get to test my defensive skills against the professional red team, but my team also got to try out our own offensive techniques against other blue teams. This created a competition atmosphere like no other"

Skyler T.



How are we Different?



From day one of competition planning, ISTS is built from the ground up by students. All of the planning, scheduling, sponsorship and red team outreach is done by passionate members of the Security Practices and Research Student Association (SPARSA). Additionally, competitor’s skills are put to the test by adding an external red team of security professionals from industry partners such as Lincoln Labs, Facebook, NCC Group, ZeroFox and Cigital. The red team is performing offensive actions against the competitors during the entire competition. Notable red team members of past ISTS competitions include Raphael Mudge (Creator of Cobalt Strike), Chris Gates (carnal0wnage), and Rob Fuller (Mubix)



Sponsor ISTS


Why Sponsor?

First and foremost you have access to all participants of ISTS (100+ candidates). This includes competitors, red team members and white team (individuals who build the competition). So whether you’re looking for senior positions, new grads, or interns we have the talent for you. Second, your company’s logo will be on our website and our t-shirts. Additionally our social media presence is growing! During the competition we will be live tweeting events, and that includes spreading the word about our awesome sponsors!

Sponsorship Tiers

Below, are our current sponsorship tiers along with the benefits. Please note that we are more than happy to work with a sponsor to get them their desired result. See something you want featured? Ask!


$2500 Gold Tier
  • A Red Team Slot
  • Previous Tier's Rewards
$500 Bronze Tier
  • Your Company’s Logo on the Website and Shirts
  • Social Media Shout Outs



White Team Registration



Blue Team Registration