Students win IT security prize

Monday, October 17, 2011

Front row, left to right: Ryan McDougall, Eric Kluthe and George Massawe. Back row: Joshua Platz, Jake Soenneker and Derek Winters.

Seven students won the Open Web Application Security Project AppSec USA 2011 University Challenge held at the Minneapolis Convention Center Sept. 21-22.

The winners are majoring in Network Information Security at the Computer Networking and Applications (IT) at St. Cloud State.

"This is another great achievement by students in the CNA (IT) program after winning the Minnesota Cyber Defense competition in March," said Tirthankar Ghosh, associate professor at the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology. "This is a moment of pride for all of us, a moment of pride for SCSU."

The St. Cloud State team not only won the overall competition but also scored the highest on the "attack portion" of this application security university challenge.  The competition was divided into two challenges – security penetration and security defense. In the first challenge, the students had to break into a number of websites provided to them, identify their security vulnerabilities and suggest solutions to fix them.  In the second challenge, the teams had to set up a virtual store, identify any weaknesses in the code and resolve them by providing new programming changes to the code. 

"These challenges gave us a well-rounded experience of a security professional, both with being able to attack as well as to defend web applications," said junior Joshua Platz, St. Cloud.

The other members of the winning team were senior Jake Soenneker, Clear Lake, senior Derek Winters, Champlin, senior Eric Kluthe, Apple Valley, junior Ryan McDougall, Monticello, junior Matthew Sitko, Mahtomedi and junior George Massawe, Mason City, Iowa.

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