Hackers create cyber storm, raise awareness of cyber security

May 12, 2010

by Jessica Cassels

Computer science students competed against one another Friday at Tech’s first Cyber Storm Competition.

Three separate teams totaling 35 students competed in the event. The red and blue teams consisted of computer science students involved in a senior capstone class. The white team was comprised of students who wanted to test their knowledge of computers.
The blue team beat teams red and white by a margin of 400 points.

Jon Gourd, an assistant professor of computer science, said he was very proud of the students participating in Cyber Storm.

“I provided direction,” Gourd said. “All the work was done by the students. They have come up with their own solutions for the problems and just rolled with it.”

He said the reason for hosting the event was to raise awareness of cyber security.

“Participants need to be aware that there are serious risks and security concerns,” Gourd said. “Real problems exist and those pursuing cyber security as a career need this hands-on experience.”

Devin Stonecypher, a senior computer science major, said in the six weeks he has been working toward this competition, he has had a lot of intense hands-on experience.

“I’ve learned a lot about security servers and the importance of security on all levels,” he said.

Stonecypher, a member of the blue team, said his favorite part of the event had been the challenge servers.

“Each team creates problems for the other teams, while they are continuously trying to take it over,” Stonecypher said. “Whoever takes over the server first receives the points.”

Stonecypher said working on this project he has gained a lot of information that he will be able to use in later classes and after graduation.

“I’ve gained extensive knowledge of Free BSD, which is a UNIX based operating system,” he said. “Knowledge of Free BSD is useful because a large percent of the world’s servers run the program.”

Michael King, a senior computer science major, said the whole process has been a great learning experience.

“We’ve learned a lot that isn’t covered in class,” King said. “Plus, it has given us things that we would be doing in the real world.”

King said the best part of the competition has been getting to work with the different networks, and hacking tools. He said he is competing on both the red and white teams.

“I’m sleep deprived,” King said. “I’ve played double duty for the past six weeks building two systems and working on two projects, so I’m tired. But overall it has been a good experience and well worth it.”