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The CCDC and What Students Can Gain From It

Hackers cornered teams of students at the annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. The students aimed to lockdown unknown systems and restore network security. The hackers' objective was to access the networks that students erected and steal confidential data. Informit published this on March 16, 2007.

At the event that lasted three days some insecure networks were handed to groups of students from eight colleges. The students were asked to lockdown the networks and continue it in working state while all the time a group of hackers would try to capture them. To make the event even more interesting the student groups had to do various other tasks like programming web applications, installing Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) etc. And if they fell to hacking the U.S. Secret Service was present to find out if enough data existed to start a probe. In this the hackers took the upper hand, published It.slashdot on March 17, 2007.

During the competition there was lot of pressure on the students to keep their DNS (Domain Name System) server running and that required great efforts to protect the networks from attacks of four serious hackers.

The CCDC gives students opportunity to interact with industry professionals who are searching upcoming professionals for their organizations. However, the main focus of the competition is to provide students an operational experience of managing and protecting a commercial network of PCs. Students are able to test their knowledge in this area. The interaction between the students and industry professionals brings up discussions of the operational and security challenges the students would soon encounter when they step into the employment market. Nationalccdc.org website published about these unique opportunities of CCDC.

Therefore, the event is beyond just a mere competition. It is also a test for a person's ability to prove well under cyber threats.

Although the event exposes students to serious hacking pressures but an important point to note is that IT professionals must know much more than just how to deal with hackers. These are about power outages, disk failures, router crashes and similar unexpected incidents that can critically bring down a network.

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