March 21, 2017

‘Security Dawgs’ finish second in Midwest competition

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale “Security Dawgs” finished second this past weekend in the Midwest Regional College Cyber Defense Competition. 

The squad finished behind DePaul in the event, held at Moraine Valley Community College. The finish is the team’s best in nearly 10 years, Tom Imboden, associate professor, Information Systems and Applied Technologies and faculty adviser, said.

“We are very proud of the fantastic job that our Security Dawgs did at the Midwest regional competition last weekend,” Imboden said. “The Midwest region is full of very talented teams and to earn second place is a tremendous achievement.  It speaks to the amount of knowledge our students possess and the amount of effort they put forth to be successful in these events.”

DePaul University will advance to the 10th annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, April 13-15, in San Antonio, Texas. A team from the University of Louisville was third. SIU was able to advance to the Midwest competition by finishing second in a wildcard competition earlier this month. Other states that had teams competing came from Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

The Security Dawgs returned 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. 

This past weekend, teams needed to defend against attacks from professional ethical hackers and complete nearly 70 business tasks assigned by the competition staff, Imboden said. 

Security Dawgs team members, 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
  • 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 (alternate)


  • Rosenberg: Vincent Davis, computer science, senior