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Eastern Michigan University High School Cybersecurity Competition a Success with Michigan Cyber Range

ANN ARBOR, MI – Merit Network, Inc. announced today the success of the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) High School Cybersecurity Competition. High school students from Southeast Michigan traveled to EMU on Friday, August 16, 2013 for a day of cybersecurity education and competition.

Though the physical site of the event was EMU’s Roosevelt Hall, students and instructors utilized the Michigan Cyber Range and the Alphaville learning environment for the day’s activities—which included a cyber exercise competition with scholarship prizes for all participants.
Michigan Cyber Range
“We are proud to announce another successful event using the Michigan Cyber Range. It was a pleasure working with Eastern Michigan University and representatives from each of the school districts who participated. We are grateful for their contributions. This is another great demonstration of the Michigan Cyber Range, Alphaville and Merit Network’s commitment to our Members,” said Dr. William “Joe” Adams, vice president of Research and Cyber Security, Merit Network.

“The students who participated were tremendous in their enthusiasm and positive approach to the event. Hopefully Friday’s experience has planted the seeds in their minds toward the solutions for the cyber security threats and challenges our nation is facing,” said Brad Wilkerson, assistant professor, Information Assurance, Eastern Michigan University and consultant, Merit Network.

High School Students from Lenawee Intermediate School District, Livonia Public Schools and Pinckney Community Schools, as well as students from the Lapeer Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron MI-276 faced off in a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition that awarded scholarship prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500.

The competition took place in the notional town of Alphaville. Alphaville includes the usual locations and services common to a small town in the U.S., but in this case these locations represent training areas in cyber security. Each location (e.g., public library, town hall, police station, small company) is created using virtual machines (VMs) that are set to a designated security level. The public library, for example, is a lot more accessible than the police station.

Alphaville also presents the opportunity for students to see how information systems in a community are truly connected. Information collected at one location can be used to probe or access a system at another location.

About Michigan Cyber Range

The Michigan Cyber Range was developed in partnership with the State of Michigan to provide organizations with an unclassified, secure cybersecurity environment that can be used for training exercises, security applications, software testing, and educational purposes. It is hosted and facilitated by Merit Network and is sponsored by DTE Energy. The Range prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and mitigate cyberattacks in a real-world setting, providing simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available on-site and live online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site: www.merit.edu/cyberrange/

About Merit Network

Merit Network Inc., is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

For more information: www.merit.edu

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