The Youngstown State University Cyber Defense Team (CDT) recently placed second in a statewide competition. The team, comprised of eight YSU computer information systems and information technology students, were amongst seven teams participating in the Midwest Regional Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), held on Saturday, February 11, 2012.
The challenge is open to all two-year colleges and four-year universities: this is the first year Youngstown State University participated. The CCDC is a part of the Systems for Security and Information Assurance, a National Resource Center, with funding by the National Science Foundation. By participating in the competition, students were able to gain additional skills that would prepare them for the work force. According to the CCDC, participating schools will also receive feedback for the school’s securities, and information technology programs.
Groups competed in an eight-hour long event where members were …”presented with a small corporate network that has several user workstations, servers for internal services, email, and an e-commerce website” and the CDT took “months preparing” said Stephen Mesik, a computer information systems major.
Jonathan Eddy, another CDT member and computer information systems student, said the team was presented with a specific task: “The scenario was that we were an entirely new IT staff brought in to a company’s network as-is and we were to provide common services such as an HTTP e-Commerce site, email, FTP server, Windows Active Directory authentication, DNS lookup, and others…” How the teams were scored was …” ultimately determined by our (participants) ability to keep those services available and complete as many of the tasks provided as possible” Mesik conveyed.
Eddy added, “Being attacked in real-time in a realistic network environment is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Seeing the attacks happen live and trying to mitigate them actually gives you a sort of rush.”
Both Eddy and Mesik are anticipated to graduate this spring 2012, and wish to obtain a masters degree from YSU.