Cyber Explorers Program

Santa Teresa Highschool Program

Cyber Explorers is a 7-week immersive program aimed at introducing Cyber Security discipline to high school and middle school students.The program doesn’t assume any exposure to computers and computer science. The first 3 sessions are tabletop fun games and exercises introducing concepts of Cyber Security like Cryptography, Network Security, Defense in Depth, Incident Detection, Incident Response et al.

The students will start early in the program on a team project which could be a cybersecurity-related puzzle, poster or a project. This is a deliverable which students are expected to showcase in the Cyber Explorers finale - which would be attended by parents, teachers and potentially rest of the school.

In the latter half of the program after a session on Ethics and signing of a displayable ethics pledge, we introduce hands-on exercises and threats which students will replicate in a lab environment. We start the labs with a gentle introduction to shell and operating systems and the drop into network security, log analysis and forensics.

Register! The Cyber Explorers Program Demo day is on Thursday May 23, from 5-7pm at Santa Teresa High School - Multi Purpose Room, 6150 Snell Ave, San Jose, CA 95123
Tickets! Get your free tickets here.

Program details


Introduction to Cyber Security (Hands-on No Computers) (Cypher-1-3, Cryptography & Steganography).Real world attacks analyzed (1-3 Printed) Video Content [Attack/Movie]

  1. Written exercise

Introduction to Cyber Security through Board Games (Hands-on No Computers) (IR - Scenarios/ Role Play) [D0x3d, Cyber Threat Defenders, Control-Alt-Hack]

  1. We covered five board games - Security Cards, Dx03D, Cards Against Security, Stratego, and Hacker. Details below.

Simulating A Cyber Security Range with an Escape Room (Hands-on No Computers) Project- Puzzle/Posters/Program with a team of 3-5

Our Escape Room is Harry Potter themed


Ethics Personal Security (Password Manager, Do Not Track, Phishing awareness,..)

Ethics exercises


Introduction to Shell - with a game (ls, cat, grep, pipe, nmap, …)

  1. Session #5 Install PuTTY
  2. OverTheWire Bandit Challenge
  3. Session #5 Unix Command Challenge - Challenge Form
  4. Session #5 Optional Challenge - Challenge Directory ZIP
  5. Project Ideas

Cyber Threats Demonstrated On Networks (WEP Attack & Wireshark)

  1. Project Ideas Excerpt
  2. Session #6 Network Security Follow along

Red Teaming - Cyber Threats Demonstrated On Individuals (Rubber Ducky)

  1. Project Ideas Excerpt Review & Plan Formation
  2. Session #7 Red Teaming Follow along
  3. Announcements
    1. 5-Minute Team Presentations next week
    2. Explorers Escape room in San Francisco Public Library

Introduction to Physical Security

  1. Project Background Research & Preparing for Tuesday presentations Project Document
  2. TestOut Lesson 4 Physical Security Labsim
  3. Announcements
    1. 5-Minute Team Presentations Tuesday, May 7th
    2. Explorers Escape room in San Francisco Public Library

Team Project - Session 2 & Introduction to Forensics

  1. Project Milestone - 5 Minute Presentations Project Proposal & Plan
  2. Forensics exercise with disk data analysis - Follow along
  3. Announcements
    1. Volunteers for San Francisco Public Library Explorers Escape Room

Introduction to Data science for CyberSecurity

  1. Project work - Prototype Developement
  2. Data Science for CyberSecurity-
    1. Access logs, OS logs, Application logs, Service logs, syslogs
    2. Introduction to Intrusion Detection
  3. Announcements
    1. Cyber Patriots Application
    2. Volunteer for the Cyber Explorer Escape Room @ Bay Area Maker Faire

Team Project - Session 3 - students will work on team projects

  1. Project work Feedback & Presentation plan
  2. Announcements
    1. Invitation for Cyber Explorers Demo Day, May 23 5-7pm, Multipurpose Room Santa Teresa High School, San Jose, CA.
    2. Volunteer for the Cyber Explorer Escape Room @ Bay Area Maker Faire

Introduction to Career Paths in Cyber Security

  1. Conversation with Mel Masterson, AirBnB Security
  2. Project Milestone - Final presentation preparation.
  3. Announcements
    1. Invitation for Cyber Explorers Demo Day, May 23 5-7pm, Multipurpose Room Santa Teresa High School, San Jose, CA.
    2. Volunteer for the Cyber Explorer Escape Room @ Bay Area Maker Faire
    3. We will work on Cyber Patriots images (OS & Networking) next session.

Lab session tailored to a Cyber Patriots Challenge

  1. TestLab - Cyber Patriots
    1. ISO images VMWare Player - problems (45 mins)
    2. Packet Tracer Image - Cisco Packet Tracer (30mins)

Project Demonstration & Cyber Security Topic Presentations,Team Presentations

Through the Cyber Explorers, we aim at having a strong industry partnership using guest lectures, hackathons and exposing students to career paths. One of the session labs will be tailored as a Cyber Patriots test - which will introduce students to the Cyber Patriots program and other relevant national initiatives.

The program finale will showcase student work and projects to a broad audience. During the duration of the program, we will offer an extensive cybersecurity library and a raspberry pi based project lab environment. We strive to align this program to other industry efforts and also offer a hackathon.

Board Games Introduced

  1. Security Cards: This game gives players an opportunity to explore cybersecurity threats from multiple perspectives. The cards have four categories: human impact, adversary’s motivation, adversary’s resources, adversary’s methods. Within these categories, the cards give example scenarios and ideas to jumpstart group games and discussion.
  2. Dx03D: A tabletop turn-based security game focused on informally introducing students to cybersecurity concepts. The flow of the game requires players to act as attackers at some points, compromising and looting the other team’s infrastructure, and as defenders other times, attempting to patch exploitations and secure against further attacks.
  3. Cards Against Security: This game is a remix of the popular Cards Against Humanity card game centered around security concepts. The adlib style cards have been reworked to introduce security terms and concepts.
  4. Stratego: Stratego is a turn-based strategy board game where opposing armies attempt to secure the other team’s flag. This game has a defensive and offensive component where you must strategize where to place your pieces and where to attack your opponent.
  5. Hacker: In Hacker, players work together to solve progressively harder puzzles. These puzzles follow the flow of creating a program, attack incident and subsequent incident response. As the puzzles get more difficult other obstacles are added forcing players to continuously think outside of the box.

Project Ideas & Process

  1. Enhance the Cyber Explorers escape room
  2. Develop a poster against Cyber Bullying & Teen education.
  3. Develop a poster and tools for person cyber security - tools, image guide etc.
  4. Work on the Cyber Security games - Security & Privacy cards, Dx0D
  5. Ideas from Students

Student Projects

Harry Python

Maheswari Bajji, Alexa Mesh, Simran Kaur

The board game mimics the mind of a hacker (how they hack) and lets people be more observant to prevent from being hacked in the future. The board game is a circle with different colored spaces. Each color has a different scenario and hacking techniques that players need to learn and use to solve a problem(e.g. blue = cryptography, red = steganography etc.). By doing this we hope people learn about hackers and hacking techniques and will be vary about hackers the next time they are online.

Style: Board game
Status: green

Cyber Valley

Jenny Le, Elysia Oh, Enya Do

This Cyber Security based Oregon Trail game will teach players about cyber threats, the importance of having secured systems, and difficulties new businesses face. Along the way, players will also gain valuable teamwork, leadership, management, and communication skills.

Style: Board game
Status: green


Andrew Khadder, Ryan Hoang, John Lee, Ryan Jin Parnaso

The project is Clue-hacker edition, and it informs about cyber security and hacking. In the game of Clue, there is one murderer, one weapon, and the room where it happened. Our version of Clue will include a hacker, method of attack, and the IP address of the hacker. The game raises awareness for cyber attacks; potentially, it has a positive effect on players. The goal is to make people aware of where they are putting their personal information. Our project will provide clues to a player to help solving the mystery of who, how, and where they got hacked.

Style: Board Game
Status: green


Niklesh Giragama, Mohid Fawad, and Kasey Doan

Our project is a type of encryption. It uses the ceaser cipher as its base. The problem that we are trying to solve is to send messages without getting any transmissions or interruptions from an anonymous User. The caesar cipher uses a number and shifts a letter by that number. That is how it gets encrypted. Instead of numbers, we are using words. Each letter in the word correlates to a number. Those number will be the shift for the word or phrase. This is a simple encryption that most people can understand if they get a walkthrough of it. It is a way to give people an introduction to encrypting words and phrases.

Style: Software
Status: green

Complete Lockdown

Rushil Desai, Yagnesh Veeraraghavan, Aaron M

Our project is a cyber security software that senses any trojan horses that might be downloaded onto your computer. This software allows to prevent any trojans to get onto your computer. Trojans can do a lot of damage, so this software can really help you prevent losing important information. Whenever you download a file, our software scans the file for trojan horses. If the software finds a trojan horse then it will immediately stop the download.

Style: Software
Status: yellow


Henry Chen

There are many security flaws that may exist on a machine or online. All of which can be exploited to gain higher privileges. This project aims to teach the general public of many different exploits which may be on their machine or online.

Style: software
Status: yellow

Pineapple Team

Vikram Nandi,Sheila Nguyen

Cyberbullying is a very common thing. Rude comments are made and rumors are spread. This is a problem because it cannot be contained. The post or comment cannot be taken down by anyone but the original user unless it is reported. Our poster will educate user on the same.

Style: Poster
Status: red

Team CVariant (GovinDOS)

Govind Pimpale, Marek Pinto

Create a simple x86 OS that can boot itself, print to the screen, and accept keyboard input to a simple shell. If time, interpret FAT32 format If time, create executable loader. If time, create simple VESA driver to display basic graphics upon the screen

Style: Software
Status: red

Team Without a Name

Jenna Young, Nathan Yacovetta

Many people do not know about security threats of websites they are visiting. People also lack knowledge of what type of information and with what sites it is safe to share with. Our solution helps with this problem with a chrome extension.

Style: Software
Status: red


Marek Pinto

Cyberpatriot is a very fun competition. It is really hard to explain what happens in a CyberPatriot competition to others. It is really fun, but it’s hard to communicate how fun it is or to give a demo of how a competition goes. We provide virtual images with vulnerabilities ranging in difficulty.

Style: Software
Status: red


Jayden Stahl

Many people have small vulnerabilities on their computers that may go completely unnoticed due to lack of knowledge of them. These can sometimes be small, such as password min length

Style: Software
Status: red


Andrew Dang, Ganesh Pimpale

One problem in cybersecurity is lack of human resources. Not enough people are knowledgeable of Cybersecurity or interested to learn and have potential jobs. Our idea is to make an introductory CTF for beginners.

Style: Software
Status: red