By Arnold Wyrick
Feb 25, 2007
CARBONDALE, IL. -- In today's technology-driven world, having a good
security system is vital to keeping your information flowing. But, it
takes skilled computer-wizards, and up to date software to have a
fighting chance against viruses, and hackers.
Some of the best college students in the Heartland are teaming up on the
Southern Illinois University campus this weekend, in Carbondale, to test
their skills in a cyber-war.
During the 3-day event, teams will fight for bragging rights and a
chance to advance in the Illinois Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense
"They're given a system and they are supposed to harden it. At the same
time they receive 'business inject.' So they have to make sure that the
business critical information is still working, everything is
functioning, while they're under attack," says Belle Woodward of SIU's
College of Applied Science & Arts.
The seven member teams from five Illinois colleges have one hour to
figure out their systems, and brace themselves for the onslaught from
'hackers' with SAVVIS.
"Basically what they don't secure, we own! And we'll find out very soon
how much of that stuff there is out there," says Mark Buchanan.
It's a tense time in the computer labs as teams log on, and begin
downloading software they hope will help them when the war.
"I want to put a firewall on the Cisco system, so everything is blocked
but these four services. That will help us on the big port scans and
stuff that they're probably going to attack first," says Chris Wilkerson
team leader, for the Illinois State University team.
Fingers begin dancing across the keyboards as team-members prepare for
the first wave of attacks. This is no friendly competition.
"If they don't harden, or have the right measures in place they can
expect a denial of services. They can also expect a number of security
breaches," Woodward said.
Some of the winning team members could eventually be hired by the FBI,
Homeland Security or a number of international companies that have
representatives, keeping a close eye on the competition.
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