Sentinels Finish in Top 3 in the NSA Codebreaker Challenge 2023

BETHESDA, MD, January 12, 2024 - Students from the SANS Technology Institute (, one of the nation's largest cybersecurity programs and the only college focused solely on cybersecurity, finished in the Top 3 out of 448 schools that participated in the National Security Agency's Codebreaker Challenge 2023, which launched on September 28, 2023 and concluded on January 12, 2024.

The college's third place finish caps a year in which the Sentinels also earned the #1 Power Ranking at the spring 2023 National Cyber League (NCL) competition in the Experienced bracket and the #1 Power Ranking among NSA Centers of Academic Excellence at the fall 2023 NCL competition.

"I couldn't be prouder of the Sentinels' consistently outstanding performance at these tough competitions," said Ed Skoudis, President of the SANS Technology Institute. "The NSA Codebreaker Challenge shows that our students' are ready to address the issues they'll face in the real world. I'm especially impressed that the strength of each individual player helped the Sentinels score 49,609 more points than we did in the 2022 competition and move up six places in the rankings."

"I'd like to give a huge shoutout to the NSA for designing an incredibly challenging but rewarding Codebreaker this year," said Tristan Myers, a master's degree student at the SANS Technology Institute and CISO at Magoo & Associates, LLC, who solved the challenge for the second year in a row. "I would also like to thank and my employer for supporting my never-ending pursuit to not only hone my cybersecurity craft but also make our communities and the world a bit safer from lessons learned in challenges like these."

About the NSA Codebreaker Challenge

The NSA Codebreaker Challenge provides students with a hands-on opportunity to develop their reverse-engineering and code analysis skills while working on a realistic problem set centered around the NSA's mission. The 2023 NSA Codebreaker Challenge consisted of a series of tasks that were worth a varying number of points based on difficulty. Schools were ranked according to the total points accumulated by their students.

About the SANS Technology Institute

The SANS Technology Institute (, America's premier college for cybersecurity, delivers distinguished career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs, characterized by a world-class faculty of highly skilled information security practitioners, hands-on cybersecurity courses updated for real-world relevance, and industry-recognized GIAC certifications earned within each program. offers innovative online and in-person course delivery options, including 100% online options for all its programs, and boasts the proven success of its alumni. Master's degree students at conduct leading-edge cybersecurity research, enhancing the state of the art in information security practices. The college also houses the Internet Storm Center, the world's leading global cyber threat detection network, where bachelor's degree students gain hands-on experience as Apprentice Handlers. The SANS Technology Institute is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. For more information, visit