WCC cyberdefense team takes third place at Pacific Rim competition

Whatcom Community College’s cyberdefense team placed third among 11 regional teams Pacific Rim Cyberdefense Competition at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash., from March 24-25.

Student teams managed computer networks that were attacked by a team of 30 hackers, including representatives of the U.S. military and Boeing as well as civilian contractors from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. The eight student competitors on Whatcom’s team are enrolled in the college’s Computer Information Systems program.

Travis McEwen is the team’s captain, and the team members are Josh Beckhusen, Brady Todhunter, Andrew Johnson, Cody Shoffit, Austin Bass, Tye Taylor and John Chapman. The college’s CIS instructor Corrinne Sande worked with the team.

“I cannot express how proud I am of these students,” Sande said, in a March 29 press release. “This competition is very intense and chaotic.  It involves teams defending a business network that includes email, web, database and other applications. Within the first 30 minutes of the competition, all teams were compromised by the attackers.”

Sande said students made an excellent impression with employers who were observing the competition, and several employers asked to interview specific students.

“The team members were professional at all times and stayed on task, despite initial infrastructure problems that left them dead in the water for part of the first day,” Sande said.

Eleven teams participated in the competition. Whatcom placed behind the first place team from the University of Washington and the runner-up from Eastern Washington University.


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