Rochester Institute of Technology’s cyber defense team will battle next month in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition for the third year in a row, after winning the regional competition March 10.
RIT bested nine other universities March 8-10 at the University of Maine to win the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and will travel to the national competition April 19-21 in San Antonio, Texas. The three-day competition, which brings together more than 100 students and 50 industry leaders, requires students to assume administrative control of all information systems within the network of a mock company.
For the competition, a group of industry professionals called the “Red Team,” led by RIT computing security professors Daryl Johnson and Bill Stackpole, were assigned to break into computer networks to exploit information from a mock company. Teams of students were “hired” by these companies to prevent that information theft from occurring.
“Some of the tools dropped on the students networks this year were actual malware that had been disassembled and modified for the event,” says Stackpole. “These tools were ones that had actually been in use by the real ‘bad guys.’”
Teams were scored on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain existing services, respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of services, and balance security needs with business needs.
“RIT did well at completing business injects, the typical support tasks of an ITdepartment, while keeping services such as email, DNS, FTP, and a shopping website up the whole time,” says Bo Yuan, an associate professor of computing security and coach of the RIT student team.
The RIT student team is made up of Scott Smith, a fourth-year computer security student; Bryan Delaney, a networking and system administration graduate student; Cory Baker, a fourth-year computing security student; Stanley Chan, a third-year computing security student; Lucas Duffey, a fourth-year computing security student; Brian Seifert, a third-year computing security student; Bryan Harmat, a second-year computing security student; and Benjamin Andrews, a computing security graduate student.
Other participants in the regional competition included Alfred State College, Champlain College, Northeastern University, State University of New York at Buffalo, State University of New York Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire and Worchester Polytechnic Institute.