Towson students place first in regional cyber defense competition

TU team successfully defended a simulated hospital IT system from hacker attack

Computer keysTOWSON, Md. (March 19, 2012)—A team of Towson University students placed first in the seventh annual CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Columbia, Md., from March 15-18.

The team will advance to the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, to be held in San Antonio April 20-22.

This year's competition theme was the defense of hospital information technology systems. For two days, teams of eight students served as the IT staff for a simulated hospital, where they were responsible for the hospital's network, including its patient records, a computer-aided dispatch program, and numerous systems including GPS tracking, telephone and wireless networks, and a medication dispensing station.

The threat came in the form of 20 information technology professionals, whose role was to attack and disrupt hospital operations.

Twenty-five teams from Pennsylvania to North Carolina participated in the initial round of the CyberWatch Competition. Towson’s team was one of eight that advanced to the region’s two-day final competition, where it placed first.

The win continues a streak of success for Towson's cyber defense team. Of the last five major regional competitions, the Towson team has won four, including the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Regional, the 2010 CSC Cyb3rBattl3ground Competition and the 2011 Maryland Cyber Challenge.

Mike O’Leary, professor in the Department of Mathematics director of the Center for Applied Information Technology, coaches the TU team, which includes: junior Andrea Mobley (team captain); senior Brian Cather; senior Johnathan Fragale; graduate student Dustin Hanks; senior Dennis Hayden; junior Alex Hornberger; senior Raymond Lynch; senior Roberto Melendez; junior Mark Olsen; and senior Emmanuel Rivera.







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