A team of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity stu­dents has suc­cess­fully bat­tled a pro­fes­sional team of com­puter hackers to win the 2009 Regional Col­le­giate Cyber Defense Com­pe­ti­tion (CCDC). The stu­dents, from the Infor­ma­tion Assur­ance pro­gram of Northeastern’s Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence (CCIS), designed, con­fig­ured and imple­mented a secure corporate-​​grade IT net­work that man­aged to fight off attempts of unau­tho­rized intrusion.

The infor­ma­tion secu­rity com­pe­ti­tion focuses on oper­a­tional aspects of pro­tecting sys­tems from external attackers while still main­taining existing ser­vices such as mail, web, and e-​​commerce. Com­peting teams include col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties with infor­ma­tion assur­ance or com­puter secu­rity curricula.

During the three-​​day event, the teams assume admin­is­tra­tive and pro­tec­tive duties for an existing “com­mer­cial” net­work – typ­i­cally a small com­pany with 50-​​plus users, seven to 10 servers, and common Internet ser­vices such as a web server, mail server and e-​​commerce site. Each team is given an iden­tical set of hard­ware and soft­ware and is scored on its ability to detect and respond to out­side threats, main­tain avail­ability of existing ser­vices, respond to busi­ness requests and bal­ance secu­rity needs against busi­ness needs.

Led by Kevin Amorin, a CCIS lec­turer in the Infor­ma­tion Assur­ance pro­gram, the win­ning team com­prised stu­dents Ashrith Barthur, Scott Doliner, Ken Eimer, Marc Held, Weiwei Hu, Will Nowak, and Shawn Smith.

North­eastern was well rep­re­sented at this year’s com­pe­ti­tion,” said Amorin. “The team met weekly from November through Feb­ruary to prac­tice for CCDC and the prepa­ra­tion paid off with a big win. We look for­ward to com­peting in the national com­pe­ti­tion and hope to keep the momentum going!”

North­east­ernhas been­in­vited tocom­pete against the other seven regional win­nerson April 17–19,at the National CCDC com­pe­ti­tion in San Antonio, Texas.

For more infor­ma­tion on Northeastern’s Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence and grad­uate pro­gram in Infor­ma­tion Assur­ance, visit: http://​www​.ccs​.neu​.edu/ and http://​www​.ccs​.neu​.edu/​g​r​a​d​u​a​t​e​/​m​s​i​a​.​h​tml.