Spotlight :: ECE :: UD :: <Cyber Security Award Winners>


UD students answer America's call for cyber security experts

UD award winners, from left, Glen Saunders, Ryan Van Antwerp, Stephen Janansky and Robert Deaton.

Instructors from the Cyber Security Bootcamp Delaware.

Nine University of Delaware students and alumni recently graduated from a first-of-its-kind cyber training camp held as part of an effort to shore up the nation's capability to protect its information systems. Currently, there is a critical shortfall of individuals trained in this area.

The 2010 U.S. Cyber Challenge Delaware camp, held Aug. 9-13 at Wilmington University, brought together 20 college students from across Delaware and the region with the potential to become world-class cyber security professionals.

Four members of the UD group took home top honors for their ingenuity, winning the fierce “capture-the-flag” style competition that culminated the event.

The UD group included a mix of graduate and undergraduate students and alumni: Robert Deaton, Stephen Janansky, James Kerrigan, Chris Merrick, Mark Pellegrini, Glen Saunders, Jared Smith, Ryan Van Antwerp and Nicholas Waite. Collectively, these individuals represented the College of Engineering, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and the Honors Program.

“Cyber security is one of the few scientific fields that encourages and rewards creativity, persistence, and the ability to view difficult problems with a different perspective,” said Van Antwerp, who won with teammates Janansky, Deaton, and Saunders.

During the week-long camp, students received advanced security training from cyber industry experts, toured the State Police High Tech Crimes Lab and faced a myriad of challenges on hacking, digital forensics, incident handling, and penetration testing.

“With everyone putting more and more of their private information online, it becomes an increasingly larger issue that this information is not secure,” said Janansky.

Chase Cotton, senior scientist in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and associate director for cybersecurity at UD's Center for Information and Communications Sciences, agrees adding, “These security skills are critical to the fight against cyber crime and to securing the systems we all use daily, like email, social networking, and banking. And these same skills are also being sought to help the government and military prepare to defend the country in this electronic battlefield.”

Cyber threats are increasing in complexity, volume and seriousness, as criminals and terrorists become more adept at accessing critical information with little more than a computer. State agencies and private sector companies face equal challenges in securing critical infrastructure and services, including the electric grid, our telecommunications network and our financial system.

Delaware was one of only three states chosen to host a cyber-security training camp in 2010. New York and California also held camps. Candidates who rise to the top at the camps will be invited to participate in other national challenges and have the potential to be introduced to key federal agencies and corporations involved in advanced cyber security work.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Gov. Jack Markell and Jim Sills, Delaware's chief information officer, congratulated and met with the students the last day of camp. Photos of the event can be viewed at Markell's Facebook site.

This year's camp was organized by Wilmington University, the University of Delaware, Delaware Technical and Community College, the SANS Institute, and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.

Bookmark and Share