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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Nov. 18, 2005

A real-world computer game

by Mike Krapfl

This all-nighter will require constant vigilance. Hackers will try just about anything to circumvent students' computer defenses.

Twelve teams of four Iowa State students each will do their best to counter numerous attacks during Iowa State's second Cyber Defense Competition. From 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, to noon Saturday, Nov. 19, the teams will compete to see who does the best job keeping their networks secure.

It won't be easy. The attackers will be industry professionals from around central Iowa.

"We're going to try to give them as realistic of a test as possible," said Kip Peters, the enterprise information protection vice president for FBL Financial Group Inc., West Des Moines, and the leader of the attacking team. "We'll come at them from a lot of different fronts."

Doug Jacobson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, said the competition will teach at least one real-world lesson.

"The hackers never sleep," he said. "Defending against them is a 24-hour-a-day process."

The student teams demonstrating the best defenses will win gift certificates and the chance to compete in a regional Cyber Defense Competition at Iowa State next spring.

The competition will be at the Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment, a virtual Internet located in the ISU Research Park (Building 2, 2625 North Loop Drive, Suite 2105). It's free and open to the public.


A competitive computer hacking simulation for ISU students is open to the public. The 18-hour adventure begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18.