Connect with us

Cybersecurity

University of Washington Wins National Cyber Defense Challenge

WASHINGTON, Monday, April 18, 2011 ­– The University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering Cyber Defense Team won first place in the 5th annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Challenge (NCCDC), with Texas A&M following in second place and the University of Louisville in third.

The three-day challenge was held April 16-18th at the Hilton San Antonio Hotel. The competition was created in 2005 to spur regular cyber security exercises amongst post-secondary level students. The contestants are made up of winning teams from each regional challenge, with nine teams competing in this year’s challenge.

Published

on

WASHINGTON, Monday, April 18, 2011 ­– The University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering Cyber Defense Team won first place in the 6th annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Challenge (NCCDC), with Texas A&M following in second place and the University of Louisville in third.

The three-day challenge was held April 8-10th at the Hilton San Antonio Hotel. The competition was created in 2005 to spur regular cyber security exercises amongst post-secondary level students. The contestants are made up of winning teams from each regional challenge, with nine teams competing in this year’s challenge.

Each group must manage a hypothetical network, which imitates the infrastructure of a mid-size company of approximately 50 users, utilizing 7 to 10 servers and Internet services including web servers, mail servers and e-commerce sites. Judges score the teams on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain Internet services and balance business and security needs.

The approximately 250 NCCDC volunteers, administrators and participants are organized into teams, each categorized by a separate color. The red team is composed of security personnel professionals and penetration testers who simulate the “bad guys” by playing hacker, throwing curve balls and attempting to break into each University network. Other teams include the white team, which evaluates team performance, and the black team, which provides technical and administrative support.

Each university team is given a room with a number of computers, tables and white boards. Two judges remain in each room at all times to both score the team as well as make sure no rules are broken.

“We worked well as a team,” says Baron Von Oldenburg, a junior computer engineering major and member of the UW cyber defense team. “When tension did arise, we did a good job of diffusing the situation without pointing fingers.”

In addition to promoting IT education, for many students the competition proves an excellent networking opportunity. Von Oldenburg said three different companies have approached him since the competition, all relating to job opportunities. Alumni from the UW team have gone on to work for Google Security, Apple and Microsoft.

This is UW’s first NCCDC win, and their fourth time winning the Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC). The team is self-funded and self-organized. To prepare, team captain Alexei Czeskis took the team down to train at UW’s Tacoma campus.

“We wanted to make sure we had all of our bases covered,” says Czeskis.

“The top three teams all exhibit good time management skills, technical skills, and the ability to balance defending their networks from live attacks and responding to the business tasks we presented to them,” says CCDC director Dwayne Williams.

Due to the perpetual advancing teachnology industry, the competition has changed drastically over its short five-years.

“Each year the competition evolves and becomes more difficult,” says Williams. “We add more equipment, new technologies, increased the amount of work we expect the teams to do, and so on.  We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the skills and capabilities of the teams coming to the National CCDC. We’ve had to basically make it much harder so we can continue to challenge them.”

Additional contestants this year hailed from DePaul University, Montana Tech, Northeastern University, Towson University, and Cal Poly Pomona.

The University of Washington brought the Alamo Cup, the challenge’s coveted trophy, back to Seattle, where it will be displayed at the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering until next year’s competition

Cybersecurity

CES 2023: Consumers Need to Understand Personal Cybersecurity, Says White House Cyber Official

Consumers must better understand how to weigh risks and protect themselves in the digital world, said Camille Stewart Gloster.

Published

on

Photo of John Mitchell, Tobin Richardson, Amit Elazari, and Camille Stewart Gloster (left to right)

LAS VEGAS, January 7, 2023 – In addition to building a more robust cybersecurity workforce, policymakers should consider consumer education, said Camille Stewart Gloster, deputy national cyber director for technology and ecosystem for the White House, speaking Saturday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

CES 2023 has featured numerous discussions of cybersecurity in sectors ranging from transportation to Internet of Things home devices. On Thursday, an official from the Department of Homeland Security argued that manufactures should design and pre-configure devices to be secure, thus reducing the security burden on consumers.

For their own protection, consumers must better understand how to weigh risks and protect themselves in the digital world, Stewart Gloster said Saturday. “The sooner that people understand that their physical security and digital security are inextricably linked the better,” she argued. According to the panel’s moderator, Consumer Technology Association senior manager for government affairs John Mitchell, 82 percent of data breaches in 2021 involved “the human element, stolen credentials, phishing, misuse.”

Stewart Gloster’s team is working on a national cyber-workforce and education strategy, she said, which will address the federal cyber workforce, the national cyber workforce, cyber education, and “digital safety awareness.”

Stewart Gloster said workforce initiatives should promote the participation of “people of a diverse set of backgrounds who are highly skilled and multidisciplinary who can take a look at the problem space, who can apply their lived experiences, apply the things they’ve observed, apply their academic backgrounds to a challenging and ever evolving landscape.”

Continue Reading

Cybersecurity

CES 2023: Cybersecurity for IoT Devices Should be Market-Driven

NIST’s cybersecurity guidelines for IoT prescribe desired outcomes, rather than specific and ‘brittle’ standards.

Published

on

Michael Bergman (left) and Katerina Megas

LAS VEGAS, January 6, 2023 – Cybersecurity protocols for Internet of Things devices should be industry-driven, Katerina Megas, program manager of the Cybersecurity for Internet of Things Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023.

The popularization of IoT devices gives cyber-criminals increasing opportunities to breach networks, many say. Network-connected household devices – e.g., lightbulbs and home security devices – can be entry-points if security protocols are lacking. On CES panel on Thursday, a cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security argued that manufacturers should design and preset devices to be safe, shifting much of the burden from the consumer.

“For a long-term, sustainable solution, the best approach really is for demand to be market driven,” she said, adding that NIST is “happy” to support the market when called on. To preserve flexibility, NIST’s cybersecurity guidelines for IoT manufacturers in general prescribed desired outcomes, rather than specific and “brittle” standards, Megas said.

“How you achieve those [outcomes] will vary depending on the maturity of your organization, the architecture of your product, perhaps preferences that you might have for you own internal processes,” she explained.

Megas said manufacturers, who well know their devices’ technical capabilities, often lack an understanding of how consumers actually use their devices. Megas said she has examined how to “help a manufacturer who has no insights into the final contextual use of this product, how can we help them…understand, ‘Here are the risks associated with my device.’”

At an American Enterprise Institute panel held in November, Megas endorsed an “ecosystem approach” to cybersecurity, arguing that network security is also indispensable.

Continue Reading

Cybersecurity

CES 2023: Railroad Industry Needs Cybersecurity Update

Shawn Smith advocated heavily tailored, industry-specific approaches that can address to the unique needs of the rail industry.

Published

on

Photo of Shawn Smith, vice president of business development of Cylus

LAS VEGAS, January 5, 2023 – To keep pace with today’s technological innovations and cyberthreats, the railway industry must retool its cybersecurity defenses, said Shawn Smith, vice president of business development of rail cybersecurity company Cylus.

The railway industry is working to patch old vulnerabilities as well as the new ones that have been create by developing technologies, Smith told Broadband Breakfast at the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday. The need for enhanced cybersecurity has been a recurring theme at the conference, as have the implications of the ever increasing number of devices and technologies now relying on connectivity.

“We’re really fast-tracking an operator’s ability to keep pace with the change in the digital environment that they’re operating in (and) the interconnectivity that they’re seeing,” Smith said, adding that his team works to provide “visibility, threat detection, and response capability to keep pace with the change in their organizations.”

Smith said that many of the large rail players have developed responses for some cybersecurity risks, but lack the automation and planning tools necessary to maximize their effectiveness. He advocated heavily tailored, industry-specific approaches that can address to the unique needs of the industry.

Governments and industry players worldwide have of late been on high alert for cyberthreats, particularly since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Railways, like other infrastructure, are potential targets for nefarious actors, Smith said.

Continue Reading

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts
* = required field

Broadband Breakfast Research Partner

Trending