Engineers expose students to real-world security threats

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and McAfee have announced details of their third annual computer security competition - `Build and Defend Your Digital Fortress.'

The event, which will take place this Thursday and Friday, was designed by McAfee engineers and RIT networking, security and systems administration professors, to expose students to "real-world types of computer security threats."

In the first stage of the competition, students will be given a list of customer requirements much as would be present for a company, such as implementing e-mail and Web server services on the network.

The students will have around 14 hours on Thursday to design and implement their networks.

The second stage of the contest on the morning of Friday will be the attack and defend portion in which the McAfee engineers will unleash a set of internal and external attacks against the students' networks.

According to McAfee, students will be scored throughout the various phases of the competition. They will receive points if they are able to keep their networks running throughout the attacks, as well as if they are able to determine vulnerabilities and beat any potential security breaches on their own.

In the final phase of the competition, the students will perform a forensic analysis to assess damage to their systems, and a winning team will be determined.

Sounds like fun - if McAfee release the details of the event's results, I hope to report more next week...