February 08, 2010

‘Security Dawgs’ advance to Midwest regional

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Mission accomplished. The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Security Dawgs achieved their first goal for 2010 by advancing to the Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

They did so with a second-place finish Friday, Feb. 5, in the Illinois Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. SIUC and Moraine Valley Community College co-hosted the event.

“The new virtual format of the competition, where all teams competed using systems that were located across the country and connected over the Internet, was a tremendous success. The second-place finish by the Security Dawgs is something we can all be proud of and we will root for them as they compete in the regional competition in March at Minnesota. In addition to being a fun competition, the participants are gaining useful experience that will be directly relevant to their jobs as future IT professionals,” said Tom Imboden, Information Systems and Applied Technologies assistant professor.

Last week’s achievement was just phase one of the mission though, as the team is hoping for a top finish at the regional contest March 12-14 at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. If they can top teams from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota, they’ll advance to the fifth annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition April 16-18 in San Antonio.

Essentially, the competing teams all worked for several hours in a situation similar to the corporate information technology world, setting up and operating technology systems, keeping them secure while making changes and updates and accomplished assigned tasks while staving off attempts to hack into their systems.

“The extra work and concentrated effort on doing well in the competition paid off! Security Dawgs, you are on your way to regionals!” said Belle Woodward, assistant professor of Information Systems and Applied Technologies, in congratulating the SIUC team. She also commended “the outstanding contributions of Marshall Riley. Our team captain has done an excellent job in leading, preparing and teaching the team to be prepared for this highly challenging event. You all did fantastic.”

DePaul University of Chicago was the victor in the Illinois Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition with SIUC taking second. Also competing in the simultaneous contest were Lake Land College of Mattoon, DeVry University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, Moraine Valley Community College and Joliet Junior College.

Competing for the SIUC Security Dawgs, 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.