Cyber defense students earn second-place finish in competition


The University of Akron’s student Cyber Defense Team earned a second-place finish among 17 teams in the 2019 Midwest Invitational Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, held Nov. 16 by Moraine Valley Community College.

The six team members used virtual machines to access in the competition network via UA’s cyber range in the R.C. Musson and Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation ICS Testbed facility in the Polsky Building. The competition consisted of a network topology of 10 virtual machines, consisting of seven servers, two workstations and a Palo Alto firewall. The invitational was intended to provide students with an initial experience for first participants and to enable teams to sharpen their skills.


UA’s student cyber defense team members who earned a second-place finish in the 2019 Midwest Invitational Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition are, from left, Logan Curry, Kyle Johnson, Corey Grabowski, Collin Carrick and Amanda Szampias. (Not pictured: Brandon Musgrave.)

UA’s team set up their computers in the cyber range at 7 a.m. Saturday and participated in the competition until 4 p.m. First place went to Northern Kentucky University and Ohio State University finished third. Participating for UA were students Amanda Szampias, Logan Curry, Kyle Johnson, Collin Carrick, Brandon Musgrave and Corey Grabowski.

The cyber defense team is part of a student organization Cybersecurity Student Group which started during the 2019 fall semester. The team consists of 15 students and is advised by Associate Professor of Practice Stanley Smith. The team assembled during the 2019 fall semester and participates in regular training sessions once a week in the cyber range on Thursday evenings.


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