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Capstone educates students in cyber-security

The Parthenon

Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 00:02

Three engineering seniors have begun developing a monitored real-time computer program where students can educate themselves in cyber-security.

Ryan Frampton, Jacob Bills and Joshua King have been working since last year to create a game-like environment where students can learn how to protect themselves from viruses and other threats to their computers.

The team believes that there is an increasing threat to computer user security due to constant developments in computer technology. In this day and age, new technology is always being released and not all of it is user-friendly.

"I was really nervous to take on this project because it was given the most difficult rating by our professors out of the all of the potential senior projects," Frampton said.

The goal of the project is to teach students how to protect themselves against computer threats by engaging in a game against opposing teams. Two teams send attacks to one another and defend against those attacks while a third neutral team, which cannot be attacked, keeps score and sends attacks to each of the playing teams.

"I decided to do the cyber security ‘farm' project because I wished that I had something like that in my cyber security course the previous year," Frampton said, "The course taught me principles of cyber security but lacked a real hands-on experience."

"The ‘Cyber Security Farm' project is designed to provide a safe, realistic environment for students to enact different scenarios and perform various techniques relating to the cyber security field," according to the team's project homepage.

The team's adviser, Paulus Wahjudi, and the other team members were unavailable for comment.

"The current cyber-security students will get to use this ‘live' environment during a Hackfest later in the semester," said Frampton. "Our whole goal was to give students at Marshall a chance to apply classroom knowledge in a safe, real-world environment. Our hope is that a senior project team next year will continue working with the project and extending it to make it even better than we thought possible."

The team has two upcoming events that will showcase their project. In March, there will be a release of their developments in automated scoring and neutral team attacking capabilities. In April, the MU Cyber Security Hackfest will put the project on full display and participants will be able to compete in the finished game.

Jordan Bean can be contacted at


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