EECS Students Compete in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

In February 2015, the KU Information Security Club, took a team of 8 members, a.k.a. the JayHackers, to the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) in Denver. As the regional qualifier for the National CCDC teams from Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Colorado participated in this regional event.

In the competition, each team is given a virtualized network with unpatched, out-of-date, and vulnerable servers and other devices (e.g. routers and printers). Teams are asked to keep their network services available, while professional hackers (a.k.a. red team members) attempt to penetrate into their systems.

Friday morning, all the teams gathered for a debriefing from the “CIO” of “Regis Healthcare,” when the red team started to scan the networks. Throughout the day, the JayHackers kept most of the systems up, and the president, Chris Seasholtz, handled most of the business injects and communication between the competition organizers and the team. The red team spent most of their time digging their claws in as deep as possible for the second day.

The second day is when the red team came at every team, full force. They took down most of JayHackers’ services during the first hour. Once they had let up on their onslaught, the JayHackers were able to regain ground and get most services back up. The competition lasted until 4:30 that day, but around 12:30, the red team decided to attack all the teams’ switches and shut down everyone’s access to the outside world and all servers hosting the services.

Although the JayHackers did not win, the team learned a lot and has begun to make changes so that they can perform better at the next competition, which will be CANSec at The University of Arkansas – Little Rock in October 2015. The KUISC is also looking forward to hosting KU’s own competition either at the end of this semester or the beginning of next semester. The competition will be most oriented to understanding and learning proper configuration and system hardening. KUISC is also discussing the option to host a competition with multiple universities in Kansas and Missouri.

The JayHackers