By Jahna Lacey
This college’s computer team put their hacking skills to good use and won third place in the Texas Showdown competition of Cyber Panoply Oct. 5 at the Westin Hill Country Resort at La Cantera.
Twelve teams tried to gain access to computer servers during the six-hour long competition, Troy Touchette, chair of computer information systems, said.
“Basically, there is a double side to the contest. The offensive side is to hack into computers and the defensive side is to put a code into the computer into the web server and make it impenetrable to hackers,” Touchette said.
This was the third time the computer team attended a Cyber Panoply contest.
“The contest was about how many different computers the computer team could hold onto by taking over servers,” Touchette said. “The competitors were scored by a computerized scoring engine that would pull at a random interval to check who owned a service on a computer, and if a team owned a service they would get points.”
Touchette said the contest teaches students how to defend themselves against hackers. The students who attended the event are information security and assurance sophomores Benjamin Thompson and Nicholas Guyer, and network administration sophomore Robert Scott.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi took first place, and Our Lady of the Lake University, second.
“During the competition, we shared our reconnaissance information that we gathered from the vulnerable machines using such as ‘nmap’ and Nessus,’” Thompson said. “Then we collaborated on how to approach and exploit machine’s vulnerabilities. After we exploited our targets, we worked together to defend and secure the machines to prevent our opponents from taking over our targets.”
Thompson said the Cyber Panoply gave students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and showed them what to expect when working in the cyber security field.
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