February 02, 2010

SIUC co-hosting cyber defense competition

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- While it’s not “mission impossible,” it’s definitely “mission complicated.” And it’s coming to the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Friday, Feb. 5.

The University is one of two sites statewide co-hosting the Illinois Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Student teams will work in a technological environment mirroring the corporate information technology world, said Tom Imboden, Information Systems and Applied Technologies assistant professor. Their mission, much like what they would face in the real business world, is to explore the technology, see what’s available and make it secure while making changes and updates as required.

As security hackers try to break into their systems, the teams will work to accomplish a designated set of business “injects,” all the while striving to keep their system secure and the equipment and services running. They could be installing equipment, adding a Web site or making changes to an existing site. Essentially, they may encounter anything that their contemporaries would find in the real IT world. It’s going to be tricky and they’ll earn points for what they accomplish.

David M. St. Pierre, Internet operations manager for local Internet service provider ShawneeLink, will be the site judge for the SIUC competition. ShawneeLink is also providing T-shirts for competitors. The competition will be from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. in Building C of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the Illinois Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at SIUC Friday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Go to either the main office in Room 106 or the judging room, 204B, in the Applied Sciences and Arts Building C. For more information contact Tom Imboden, Information Systems and Applied Technologies assistant professor, at 618/453-7296 or by e-mail at timboden@siu.edu.

Participating in the Illinois competition at SIUC along with the host University is Lake Land College of Mattoon. They’ll be facing off against DeVry University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University at Normal, DePaul University in Chicago, Moraine Valley Community College and Joliet Junior College as they compete simultaneously at Moraine Valley Community College.

The top two finishers in the Illinois Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition will advance to the Midwest Regional Competition March 12-14 at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. Teams from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota will compete in the suburban St. Paul competition. The winner advances to the fifth annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition set for April 16-18 in San Antonio.

The SIUC Security Dawgs, as they usually call themselves, have already done remarkably well in previous state competitions, placing first in 2006, second in 2007 and 2008 and third in 2009. Belle Woodward, assistant professor in the School of Information Systems and Technologies, is the team’s faculty adviser.

Competing for SIUC, listed by hometown with major and year, are:




• Donnie Owsley, senior, information systems technologies.


• Brett D. Ussher, senior, information systems technologies.


• Marshall Riley, team captain, graduate student, computer science.


• Michael Buhman, sophomore, information systems technologies.

• Jarrod Echols, senior, information systems technologies.


• Gared Seats, senior, information systems technologies.


• David Loftus, senior, political science.



Fort Wayne

• Phillip Bristow, senior, information systems technologies.