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Baker College Defends Title at National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

In an intense, three-day competition that included fighting back cyber assaults, IT students from Michigan-based Baker College of Flint won the fourth annual Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition held in San Antonio, TX for the second year in a row. The team successfully defended Baker's position as the reigning national champion against heavyweights Texas A&M University and six other colleges and universities from around the country.

Baker was one of 65 schools competing this year and--by winning the Midwest regional competition--one of eight teams that earned a spot in the national competition. The competition centered on real-life information technology tasks related to managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure.

In the competition simulation, students were "hired" as the network and security administrators at a small company, compete with e-mail, Web sites, data files, and users. They entered the job knowing very little about the network, what security level had been maintained, or what software had been installed. Teams were given one hour to become familiar with the assigned system and to begin security updates and patches before fighting off cyber assaults from "red team" hackers. Each team was scored on its ability to defend against attacks, correct network problems, and perform routine information technology tasks.

Despite a specially designed attack against its assigned network involving custom exploit code, Baker beat out the other schools for the high score, according to Van Scott, cyber defense team advisor and computer information systems instructor at Baker.

"These students worked extremely hard and deserve a lot of credit for rising to this difficult challenge. This was not part of their regular class work," said Scott. "Competition organizers were very impressed with our team's performance. In addition to winning, some members of the team have positive leads on prestigious internships in Washington, DC, as a result of their participation and performance."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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