By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

Last week, four students from the School of Information Studies (iSchool) ) traveled to the University of Connecticut to compete in the CSI CyberSeed Capture the Flag Challenge.

The challenge, sponsored by Symantec, provided teams from schools nationwide a chance to test their hacking and offensive skills.  As competitors, the students simulated a cyber attack on an oil company. Over the course of two days, students practiced their skills in reconnaissance, application-layer security, web-layer security, operating system-layer security, and cryptography. The participants noted that this was an excellent opportunity to hone their cyber offensive skills, something they do not often have a chance to do.

“As aspiring information security professionals, we spend much of our time learning to mitigate and defend against cybersecurity attacks,” noted Brian Garber, a senior at the iSchool. “The opportunity to practice launching attacks, instead of defending against them, helps students to think like hackers.”

The trip to the University of Connecticut was one of one of many cybersecurity events planned for iSchool students this year.  The group of students who competed are from the newly founded Information Security Club, which meets bi-weekly on Tuesday nights in the Innovation Studio. This competition is a precursor to the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NECCDC), which will be hosted by the iSchool in March, 2015.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, designed to engage and educate the public about cyber security.  This year marks the 11th annual awareness month.