UW wins iSchool-sponsored security contest

What began as a classroom exercise in Dr. Barbara Endicott-Popovsky's Information Assurance class back in 2004, is now a regional contest attracting 11 schools and 112 student participants.

"We started with a one-day event for our iSchool students, staged by West Point and held at Fort Lewis in their state-of-the-art Battle Command Training Center. Over time, as others heard about it and asked to participate, it grew to include other departments and schools," recalls Popovsky, who remains the primary event organizer. "Five years ago, with $80k in sponsorship from Microsoft, we moved from Ft. Lewis to the Microsoft campus to formally launch a regional level competition that feeds the National event."

This year's Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, held March 24-25 at Highline Community College, pitted teams of up to eight students against hackers aiming to take down their computer systems at any cost.

The UW Seattle team was the regional winner for the fifth year in a row and went on to win the the Nationals for the second time in a row. This year's National contest was held in San Antonio, TX on April 20-22.

In addition to serving as the event organizer, iSchool Informatics students joined the attack team and graduate students in information management served as volunteer judges.

Participating colleges and universities included UW Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma, along with DeVry, Eastern Washington, Evergreen State College, Highline Community College, Lewis & Clark College, University of Idaho, Western Washington University, and Whatcom Community College

Sponsors for the event include Boeing, Deloitte, Intel, Microsoft, CIA, IOActive, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and SPAWAR.