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Washington Voices

EWU cyber team places at regionals

Thu., May 3, 2012

A team of students from Eastern Washington University placed second out of 11 teams at the fifth annual Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, in Des Moines, Wash.

It’s the third time EWU was represented at the contest, in which teams of students defend computer networks against outside attacks from hackers and virus.

“It’s a lot like CyberPatriot for high schools, except this is on the collegiate level,” said Carol Taylor, EWU professor of computer science, and the team’s adviser.

The students are put in charge of a fictional small business computer network which they must keep operational while an evil red team, consisting of 30 computer professionals, is doing its best to break down the system.

A team from the University of Washington won the competition in March. Only the regional winner goes on to compete at the national level.

The National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition was launched at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2005 and has been growing ever since. The competition is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, the Army, McAfee and Boeing; just to mention a few of the bigger sponsors.

Taylor said the students did great and that EWU plans to compete again next year.

“Five of this year’s students will be returning to the team,” said Taylor. “Hopefully that will give us an edge.”

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