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Cyber Defense Team Captures Third Straight Indiana Title

Thursday, March 06, 2014
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Cyber Defense Champions: Winning the Indiana Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition was a team that featured computer science, software engineering, and electrical engneering students. This is the third straight year that Rose-Hulman has won the state contest. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Rose-Hulman's Cyber Defense Team has captured the Indiana Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) championship for the third consecutive year, keeping alive its goal of qualifying for the prestigious national championships.

Modeled from real-world scenarios and obstacles, the CCDC is the first cyber security competition designed to test how well students operate and manage a network infrastructure similar to the networks found in the commercial sector.

The Indiana regional competition had eight-person teams setting up an "operational" computer network over eight hours for retail e-commerce, personnel records, and management software. Competitors were given minimal information about the network, its security levels, and its software.

Throughout the competition, a team of cyber security professionals began to actively scan and probe the team's networks in an effort to break into and disrupt each team's operations. Meanwhile, another team of fictional employees, clients, and customers contributed new stress as team members worked together to maintain services.

At no time was Rose-Hulman's computer system taken off-line by the threatening opponents, with John Knight, the head of the Indiana CCDC Qualifier, stating, "Rose-Hulman was the clear winner of the event."

Senior computer science student Cameron Spry is captain of this year's team. Other members include computer science students Dax Earl, Aaron Golliver, Mason Schneider, and Neil Semmel; software engineering students Robin Cooper and Jonathan Jungck; and electrical engineering student Tayler Burns. The team's faculty advisor is Michael Hewner, PhD, assistant professor of computer science and software engineering.

The victory qualifies Rose-Hulman to the Midwest CCDC challenge on March 28-29 at Moraine Valley Community College near Chicago. Rose-Hulman is the defending Midwest champions and the 2013 team advanced to place third nationally.

Spry and Semmel are the only holdovers from the successful 2013 team.