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Teach. Test. Train.
The Michigan Cyber Range Prepares Cybersecurity Professionals to Detect, Prevent and Mitigate Cyber Attacks
Cybersecurity and protecting the nation’s network infrastructure is a vital concern, and Merit Network leads a major project, the Michigan Cyber Range (MCR), to help cybersecurity professionals prepare for real-world situations.
The Michigan Cyber Range is dedicated to providing a secure environment for cybersecurity education, training and testing. It also performs research as an advanced platform for industrial control systems security.
The MCR is an unclassified private cloud operated by Merit. It delivers cybersecurity classes and exercises and enables product development and testing to clients and Merit Members across the nation and throughout the world.

The History

Governor Rick Snyder First Proposed the Michigan Cyber Range in his Cyber Security Vision Statement in 2011.
In his vision statement, Gov. Snyder identified the need for a place to train and prepare a strong cybersecurity workforce. Building from this vision, the Cyber Range was made possible by grants from NIST, the Michigan State Police and the Department of Homeland Security. DTE, Consumers Energy, and Juniper Networks also provided initial sponsorship capital.

Dr. Joe Adams was hired as the Range’s first Director and Merit’s V.P. for Research and Cyber Security in June of 2012 and established the infrastructure design and the educational program framework. Governor Snyder cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Michigan Cyber Range at Merit’s offices in Ann Arbor on November 9, 2012.

The Infrastructure

The Michigan Cyber Range Leverages Merit’s Extensive Research and Education Network.
Merit currently operates nearly 4,000 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure throughout Michigan, reaching into the neighboring states of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio, connecting to other regional research and education networks. The MCR heavily leverages Merit’s network to conduct cybersecurity certification courses, hold training exercises, and operate its Secure Sandbox service.

Additionally, Merit is connected to Internet2‘s national high-speed backbone network, making the Michigan Cyber Range accessible nationwide.

Michigan Cyber Range
Using the Range

The Michigan Cyber Range is Ideal for Teaching, Testing and Training.
Merit conducts cybersecurity certification courses utilizing the Michigan Cyber Range, with labs and hands-on training exercises managed exclusively by Michigan Cyber Range professionals. View the Cybersecurity Course Calendar.

Merit’s Secure Sandbox service is a flexible, secure environment that can be used for cybersecurity education, training exercises, and software testing. Located in a virtual cloud, the Secure Sandbox simulates a real-world networked environment with virtual machines that act as web servers, mail servers, and other types of machines.

Utilizing the virtual town of Alphaville, the Michigan Cyber Range conducts hands-on Cybersecurity Exercises to help teams practice and prepare for any type of data breach.

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Questions About The Michigan Cyber Range?
Welcome to AlphavilleAlphaville
Alphaville is Like Any Other Town. Except It’s Not.
Many of the training courses & exercises take place within Alphaville, MCR’s virtual training environment. Alphaville is specifically designed to test cybersecurity skills. Alphaville consists of information systems and networks that are found in a typical information ecosystem. Each location has different operating systems, different security priorities, and different challenges for participants to encounter and overcome.

Alphaville is more than a collection of networks, however. It also presents the opportunity for participants to see how information systems in a community are truly interconnected. As participants navigate through the heterogenous networks, they find that information discovered at one location can be used to gain access or elevate privileges at another site.

Learn more about Alphaville

Michigan Cyber Range Videos
Balance in All Things
Duration: 00:08:29
Released: 5/10/2016

Velocity Hub Opened
Duration: 00:05:03
Released: 3/18/16

Hide Your WiFi!
Duration: 00:04:14
Released: 3/7/2016

The Way of the Consultant
Duration: 00:12:39
Released: 10/15/2015

Everyday Cyber Hero
Duration: 00:08:29
Released: 5/12/2015

The Importance of Cybersecurity
Duration: 00:04:25
Released: 2/23/2015

Joe, David & Don Discuss the MCR
Duration: 00:05:58
Released: 9/5/2014

The Mean Streets of Alphaville
Duration: 00:09:44
Released: 5/20/2014

Battle Creek Hub Unveiled
Duration: 00:03:10
Released: 3/25/14

Cyber Awareness Breakfast at NMU
Duration: 00:02:35
Released: 4/10/2014

Alphaville Terror: Zombie Protocol
Duration: 00:09:45
Released: 10/25/13

Greetings from Alphaville
Duration: 00:06:11
Released: 5/14/13

Michigan Cyber Range Intro
Duration: 00:03:06
Released: 4/2/12

MCRCon 2016: Some Assembly Required
Thank you to everyone who attended!
Merit and the Michigan Cyber Range hosted the fourth annual MCRCon cybersecurity conference on Tuesday, May 10 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. This conference focused on hacking prevention, incident handling, forensics and post-event public relations, with presentations delivered by nationally-recognized experts, cybersecurity skills competitions, prize giveaways and more.

Find out more