Cyber security is a versatile and ever-changing field offering challenges in everything from finance, to criminal justice to careers in the public sector.

Students who may be interested in or are pursuing studies in cyber security are encouraged to attend the 2nd Annual Texas Cyber Security Awareness Week (TexSAW) designed to highlight the importance of cyber security as an emerging technical field and motivate students to specialize in this field of study.

The Cyber Security Research and Education Center at The University of Texas at (UTD) is hosting this three-day event which will include a symposium with speakers and panelists from government, industry and academia on Tuesday, student workshops on Wednesday and a competition on Friday. Students may attend any or all of the events on October 30th - November 1st on the UT Dallas campus.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Interact with experts from government and industry as well as university faculty to make an informed decision in choosing a career path in the field.
  • Meet students interested in cyber security from other universities in Texas.
  • Attend workshops on Wednesday, October 31st, to develop fundamental hands-on skills in cyber security including penetration testing, exploitation, and web application security.
  • Put their newly acquired skills to use in a cyber security competition on Thursday, November 1st.

Student travel grants for up to $500 are available. Please send a copy of your current transcript and a personal statement on the expected benefits of attending this event to Dr. Kamil Sarac at [email protected] by October 14thth.

This event is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas.

Student Hardware/Software Requirements

Participants are required to bring their laptop computers to conduct hands-on experiments on Wednesday and participate in the competition on Thursday. Many exercises during the TexSAW event are based on virtual machines that you need to run on your computer. Please make sure the following requirements are addressed:

  1. A laptop computer with WLAN interface.
  2. A web browser (preferably FireFox).
  3. Download and install the following addons for FireFox:
  4. Download and install VMWare Player from For Windows, choose VMware-player-5.0.0-812388.exe.
  5. Download the Backtrack 5 Virtual Machine. You can download the VM here: and extract the archive (see if you have trouble). Launch VMWare Player, click "File"->"Open a Virtual Machine" then navigate to the directory you just extracted and select the file "BT5R3-GNOME-VM-32.vmx"

Program Schedule for Student Activities

Cybersecurity Symposium

Tuesday, October 30th
Davidson Auditorium, Naveen Jindal School of Management (JSOM)
Please see the Symposium Schedule.

Lunch for TexSAW students will be provided at Noon in the Executive Dining Room in the Jindal School of Management.
Student Workshops

Wednesday, October 31st
TI Auditorium
9 am - 9:30 amCheck-in and Continental Breakfast
9:30 am - 11:00 amWorkshop 1: Exploit Development
Robert Mitchell Adair Presentation
11:00 am - 11:15 amBreak
11:15 am - 12:45 pmWorkshop 2: Penetration Testing
Christopher Walz Presentation
12:45 pm - 1:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 3:00 pmWorkshop 3: Web Applications Security
Scott Hand Presentation
Student Competition

Thursday, November 1st
TI Auditorium
9 am - 9:30 amCheck-in and Continental Breakfast
9:30 am - 12:00 pmCTF Competition
12:00 pm - 1:00 pmLunch
1:00 pm - 2:00 pmPresentation of Solutions
2:00 pm - 2:30 pmWrap-up and Student Feedback

Important Links