HarkerCTF holds cybersecurity speaker event


Michelle Wei

Dr. Masanori Bando gives a presentation over Zoom on cybersecurity during a speaker event hosted by HarkerCTF last Friday. Dr. Bando leads car cybersecurity research and development at Fortinet, a company providing cybersecurity solutions.

by Michelle Wei, Reporter

Harker Capture the Flag (HarkerCTF) invited Dr. Masanori Bando, who leads car cybersecurity research and development at Fortinet, a company providing cybersecurity solutions, to speak to about 20 students during long lunch last Friday over Zoom in upper school computer science teacher Anu Datar’s room.

Dr. Bando detailed the behavior of digital data as it transfers through a network and discussed common ways people may put themselves at risk online, such as by accessing insecure websites. He then described how traditional network security could be applied to modern car systems like Tesla. 

HarkerCTF’s Director of Outreach Jacob Huang, who helped coordinate the event, stresses that people must be conscious of cybersecurity in their daily use of the internet.

“As technology expands, [cybersecurity] is becoming a more and more important part of our lives,” Jacob said. “People are going to exploit that. We have to be cautious when we’re using the internet to protect ourselves from online dangers.”

As Dr. Bando discussed, the addition of network connectivity to modern vehicles creates a potential vulnerability; whereas the first cars operated purely mechanically, today’s models can become victims to cyber attacks.

Through this event, HarkerCTF hopes to expose more students to the field of cybersecurity, potentially kindling an interest in the area.

“[Speaker events] are a good way to get more people to learn about cybersecurity and see if this interests them,” Jacob said. “When I first entered Harker in high school, I didn’t know much about it at all. But it was through different speaker events that I learned more about this field, so we hope to make the subject more accessible to all.”

A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to HarkerCTF as “Harker Civic Tech Forum” instead of “Harker Capture the Flag.” The article has been updated on Feb. 27, 2022, to reflect the correction of this error.