March 06, 2017

‘Security Dawgs’ advance to regional competition

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale “Security Dawgs” find themselves in their own version of March Madness after qualifying for the Midwest Regional College Cyber Defense Competition. 

The team finished second on Saturday, March 4, in wildcard competition to guarantee a spot in the Midwest regional championship, March 17-18, at Moraine Valley Community College. Other states that will compete in the Midwest region are Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

On Saturday, the University of Louisville finished first to also advance to the competition. The winner in the Midwest competition will compete in the 10th annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, April 13-15, in San Antonio, Texas.

“The SIU Security Dawgs are excited to be returning to the regional college cyber defense competition after a two-year hiatus and are very proud to represent SIU while competing along with the best teams in the Midwest,” Tom Imboden, associate professor, Information Systems and Applied Technologies and faculty adviser, said. “The team will continue to practice and prepare over the next week and work to sharpen their technical skills and knowledge.”

Imboden said another aspect of the competition is students submit their resumes ahead of time and a group of sponsors and security employers have mini-interviews during the event. It is not out of the question for students who attend to even get job offers during the event, he said.

The Security Dawgs return seven members from last year’s team and have been practicing since the start of the fall 2016 semester. In the competition, teams work to keep their site secure from hackers and unwanted cyberattacks, and also are responsible for system maintenance, upgrades, and completing other requests, such as installing or upgrading a website. Teams earn points based upon how successful they are at accomplishing the business tasks, in addition to identifying and stopping hacker attacks, and writing incident reports.

Competing for SIU Carbondale, listed by hometown, major, and year in school are:


  • Chicago: Robert Brevard, information systems technologies, senior (alternate)
  • Decatur: Jordan Brown, information systems technologies, senior (alternate)
  • Freeport: Brandon Truckenmiller, information systems technologies, senior
  • Freeport: Logan Truckenmiller, information systems technologies, junior
  • Hoffman Estates: Christian Scott, information systems technologies, junior
  • Marion: Trenton Taylor, information systems technologies, senior
  • Pittsburg: Curtis McRoy, information systems technologies, senior (alternate)
  • Rockford: Jonathon Farmer, information systems technologies and technical resource management, senior
  • Sesser: Cody Lingle, information systems technologies, senior
  • Wheaton: Michael McCarthy, information systems technologies, junior (alternate)


  • Atlanta: Hallie Martin, information systems technologies, senior.


  • Rosenberg: Vincent Davis, computer science, senior.