Clemson Students Test Hacking Skills In Intercollegiate Competition
KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 12, 2016) — Nearly 60 college students went on a hacking attac at Clemson University last week, doing all they could to break into computer systems developed by GE engineers.
There was nothing malicious about it, though.
The students were taking part in GhostRed, a competition that tests the skills of college students as they try to break into systems designed to leave a few cracks open for those who can find them.
“For the students, this is probably one of the more fun types of events they can do,” said Kevin McKenzie, Clemson’s chief information security officer
A team from Kennesaw State in Georgia came out on top among the teams from eight universities. Auburn placed second and Columbus State, third.
“Clemson held the lead for a good portion of the day and sort of fell at the end,” McKenzie said. “But the whole point of the competition was for them to get exposed to the nature of cybersecurity and being on the offensive side.”
Most college competitions in computer security have students playing defense, trying to keep hackers out, he said.
Clemson is moving toward developing a curriculum around cybersecurity, which is one of the hottest fields for career opportunities in technology.
A Forbes article last month there are openings for one million cybersecurity workers.
“There are just so many jobs out there in this market that they don’t have the qualified people to put them into,” McKenzie said.
Clemson students are getting hands-on experience in helping defend the university’s own network, through a new cybersecurity operations center that is totally student-driven, McKenzie said.