Four RIT Students Win Computer Security Contest

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Rochester Institute of Technology and McAfee Inc. have crowned four RIT students as the top defenders of their digital fortress. A computer security and forensics laboratory on the RIT campus was the battleground, as six teams of students faced the fierce competitor, McAfee Inc.—the leader in intrusion prevention and risk management solutions.

The students’ challenge: build, test and defend computer network systems against an onslaught of simulated attacks generated by two groups—McAfee engineers and the RIT student group S.P.A.R.S.A. (Security Practices and Research Student Association). After hours of blocking and preventing security threats, the student team of Jym Ferrier, information technology graduate student; Mike Goffin, fourth-year information security major; Sean Jordan, first-year applied networking and systems administration major; and Jordan Sissel, fifth-year computer science major won first place.

The teams were scored in the following five categories: build out, standardized testing, attack and defend, forensics and expert analysis. McAfee Inc. awarded prizes to the first, second, and third place teams. All the students received McAfee certification for their participation in the training sessions and the contest.

The contest was part of McAfee Day, May 13, on the RIT campus to celebrate a new partnership between McAfee Inc. and the university. McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) recently donated more than $1 million in next-generation intrusion prevention technology to the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS) to launch the college’s master’s program in computer security and information assurance. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for various careers in the computer security field.

Friday’s contest involved several phases. In the first phase, students were given a list of customer requirements. They needed to implement McAfee IPS appliances and software and once their designs were complete, McAfee ran tests on the students’ network and systems to determine deficiencies, vulnerabilities, patch levels and general health.

The second portion of the contest involved students preparing their networks against a set of simulated attacks (internal and external threats) from McAfee engineers. In the final phase of the competition, the students performed a forensic analysis to assess damage to their systems.

PHOTOGRAPH CAPTION INFORMATION: Pictured from left to right are Jordan Sissel, Mike Goffin, Jym Ferrier and Sean Jordan.

BACKGROUND: RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, the largest comprehensive computing college in the nation, was created with a $14 million gift from B. Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc.

The college offers undergraduate programs in computer science, information technology, applied network and system administration, new media, and software engineering, as well as graduate programs in computer science, information technology, software development and management, and computer security and information assurance.

The college is home to the Center for Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure, located in the university’s Laboratory for Applied Computing building, which partners with industry and other research organizations in the advancement of computing technology in support of scientific discovery and product development, and to foster technology commercialization.

Founded in 1829, RIT is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and education for the deaf. RIT enrolls 15,300 students in more than 340 undergraduate and graduate programs.

McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the market leader in Intrusion Prevention and Risk Management solutions. McAfee delivers innovative and proven solutions and services that secure systems and networks around the world. With McAfee’s unmatched security expertise, home, business, government, and service provider customers block attacks, prevent disruptions, and continuously track and improve their security. McAfee and Foundstone are either registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee Inc. and/or its affiliates in the US and/or other countries. The color red in connection with security is distinctive of McAfee brand products. All other registered and unregistered trademarks in this document are the sole property of their respective owners. © 2005 McAfee Inc. All Rights Reserved.