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Annual cyber security event challenged students to protect mock smart grid from hack attempt

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, May 06, 2011

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are increasingly guiding students to gain more real world experience. Undergraduates participated in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), an event that pits gifted students against hackers. The event serves to highlight the growing cyber security threats posed to critical infrastructure like the smart grid.

According to Inform IT, one of the events in the competition was one of the most difficult in its history. Over the course of two days, experienced hackers launched cyber attacks against mock corporate networks. In a nod to the growing proliferation of cyber attacks against the smart grid, students this year were tasked with fighting off hackers looking to infiltrate power grid systems.

By preparing the students to handle Internet security attacks on critical infrastructure like the power supply, the event helps ready students for real world obstacles they will inevitably face, affirmed Casey O'Brien, who has organized the event for the last six years.

"CCDC aims to develop the IT security professionals of tomorrow and prepare them for the realities of working in the field of information security," O'Brien said in an interview.

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