Students Place 4th at Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

Alfred State placed fourth out of 12 teams at the 2012 Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at Northeastern University, Boston, MA. This is a remarkable achievement given the level of competition from teams sponsored by major northeastern universities and given almost all of the other teams had graduate student members. The seven undergraduate students from Alfred State were enrolled in Computer and Information Technology bachelor degree programs. The members of the team were: Benjamin Andrews, Harpursville, captain; Shane Canaski, Arcade; Josh Fechter, Corfu, alternate captain; Brett Langdon, Lima; Roosevelt Marthel, Brooklyn; Adam Worth, Corfu; and Amelio Wright, Lyndonville. The coach of the Alfred State team was Jim Boardman, assistant professor and chair, Computer and Information Technology department.

This is the third year that an Alfred State team has participated in the competition. The 11 other colleges and universities that competed at this year’s event were: Northeastern University, University of Buffalo, Harvard University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), University of New Hampshire (UNH), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), University of Maine, Pace University, University of Massachusetts Boston, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Champlain College. RIT placed first, UNH placed second and University of Maine placed third. Next year the competition will be hosted by the University of Maine.

The competition is 19 hours long. Each team is told that they have been hired as the new IT staff for a fictitious corporation and the teams are told that the previous IT staff members were fired due to negligence and incompetence. Each team is placed in a separate room with 4 computer servers, 4 computer clients, a switch, and a router. The teams’ mission is to restore IT services and keep them up and running and the teams are scored based on their ability to complete this mission. To simulate the growing Internet threat from computer hackers, a team of some of the best and brightest network security professionals from across the USA, designated as thered team”, launches continuous network attacks against computer targets maintained and operated by the teams. As one can imagine, this creates quite a challenging environment for the teams to contend with. The judges of the competition referred to as the “white team” evaluate performance and compliance with the rules of the competition.

The competition is a superb training and learning environment for IT students where the best and the brightest compete against each other. As such the competition attracts many corporate sponsors eager to hire IT students. Some of the sponsors for this year’s competition were: Boeing, Cisco, Dell, Deloitte, Microsoft, RSA, and the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command.

Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition participants

Bottom row, l to r:
Marthel Roosevelt, information technology: network administration, Brooklyn; Brett Langdon, information technology: applications software development, Lima; Amelio Wright, information technology: network administration, Lyndonville

Top row, l to r:
Jim Boardman, assistant professor and chair, Computer and Information Technology department; Joshua Fechter, information technology: network administration, Corfu; Benjamin Andrews, information technology: network administration, Harpursville; Shane Canaski, computer engineering technology, Arcade; and Adam Worth, computer engineering technology, Corfu