Patrick Cronin, Charles Gouert and Fateme Hosseini won first place at the 2018 Embedded Security Competition (ESC) in North America. ESC is one of the oldest research-oriented hardware security competitions in the world that focuses on hacking IoT & embedded devices. ESC is organized in North America, Europe and India during the Cyber Security Awareness Worldwide (CSAW) events, and at the NA finals, our students competed against other universities, including Texas A&M, UF, UCF, UNCC, UNH and UMBC. Our team developed robust covert channels for exfiltrating sensitive data from IoT smart bulbs at distances of 75 feet using a telescope and a luminosity/color sensor, which received the highest score from an independent panel of eight industry-expect judges.