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20-Hour Cyber Competition Pushes Students To Tackle Wall Street Shutdown

A regional cyber competition this month will pit security experts from Boeing, McAfee Foundstone, Logic Security, and a district attorney's office posing as terrorists against students from six western universities. The student teams will play the role of financial services white hat advisors in a 20-hour contest. Their goal: to reactivate stock trading after a series of physical and virtual attacks have shut down Wall Street.

The contest is one of several around the country that helps participating institutions assess the depth of understanding their students of information assurance and computer security have in managing real-world security challenges.

The Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition takes place March 25-27 at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Competitors come from Cal Poly Pomona; California State University, San Bernardino; San Bernardino Valley College; and several other institutions. The winning team will join the victors from other regions, including the University of Wyoming in Laramie, the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, at the three-day National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition taking place in April 2011 at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In the Pomona competition, the teams will have to create a backup operations center on the West Coast in order for trading to resume. Hackers will try to thwart the teams' efforts by launching a series of attacks. The team that provides continuous stock trading with the least amount of interference from hackers will be victorious and advance to the national event.

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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