Nicole S. Rowe
Administrative Assistant, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
Students Participate in U.S. Cyber Challenge Delaware Camp
U.S. Senator Tom Carper and U.S. Congressman John Carney recognized the third graduating class of the United States Cyber Challenge Delaware Camp on Friday, July 13 at a ceremony at the University of Delaware. Thirty students from across the state have been immersed this week in specialized cyber security training presented by college faculty, SANS Institute senior instructors, and cyber security experts. The camp included a career fair, and a “capture the flag” competition, which gave the students a real life cyber threat that they had to solve. The camp was being hosted in conjunction with the Delaware USCC Coordinating Council, which includes the Department of Technology and Information, Wilmington University, the University of Delaware, and Delaware Technical and Community College.
Students from Wilmington University, University of Delaware, Delaware Technical and Community College, Rowan University, University of Maryland, and some local high schools, participated in the five-day camp. The camp curriculum included in-depth workshops on a range of topics, including penetration testing, wireless security, cyber ethics, and digital forensics. Campers were put to the test today during the ‘capture the flag’ competition where they had the crack the case in a simulated real-life cyber threat. The winners of the ‘capture the flag’, by a very close margin were team Shebang (named for a commonly known Linux sequence "#!". Each team member won a $1,000 scholarship to be used towards earning a degree in computer security. Congratulations to team Shebang: Hristo Asenov, from the University of Delaware, Alex Coffman of Wilmington University, Kevin Kaminski of the University of Delaware, Yingbo Wang of the University of Delaware and Scott Stevenson of Rowan University.
U.S. Senator Carper commended these exceptional youth for their innovative thinking and encouraged them to act as mentors to other students interested in the field. “The Internet is a critical part of most Americans’ everyday life and that’s a good thing, but unfortunately it also means that our economy and critical infrastructure are vulnerable to attacks by hackers. That’s where these bright students come in,” he said. “All this week, these talented students have been getting a glimpse into the minds of the hackers and learning how to thwart their attacks. These camps serve as a way for us to help train and guide the future guardians of the Internet. I thank them for their hard work and urge them to consider government service both at the state and federal level as we work to protect against these Internet-based attacks.”
Congressman John Carney spoke with the students over lunch and engaged them in a lively conversation on the future of cyber security. “We, in Washington, are in great need of some bright young people, such as these, to focus their talents on cyber security,” said Congressman Carney. “As we find new, creative ways of using technology to grow the economy, we also need to make sure these investments are protected. The Summer Cyber Security Camp is a great way to further young people’s interests in technology and provide them with valuable skills that can lead to a successful career. I hope they keep up the great work.”
Studies have shown that there are critical shortages of qualified cyber security personnel both in the federal and commercial sectors. Meanwhile, the FBI has ranked cyber crime as the third-greatest threat to U.S. national security, after nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction. This camp gave students in Delaware the chance to receive training from world class cyber security experts, practice their new skills, and learn about educational and employment opportunities.
Wilmington University student Janilsa Alejo-Smith of Fort-Dix, N.J., said the camp was very intense. “All the information we learned was like an overview of the tools we can use in the real world,” said the Computer and Network Security major. She said she was encouraged to see more women participate in the cyber security camp this year. “I would like to see more women getting involved and not just on the educational level but also for the purpose of networking.”
The U.S. Cyber Challenge plans to hold another Delaware Summer Cyber Security Camp next year.