On August 16, Brandon Greene of Joliet was part of a three-person team to win the Illinois Cyber Security Challenge. Brandon is a two-time graduate of Lewis University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in May 2011 and a Master of Science in Information Security in May 2013.
The competition, which is a state-level recognition of outstanding cyber security talent and is one of the events held as part of the United States Cyber Security Challenge (USCC), consisted of several stages. Over 1,000 students representing 400 schools in the United States participating in the first round to become participants in the the USCC. Once Brandon qualified, he was asked to do a forensic analysis of network traffic documented in a packet capture (pcap) file. He had only 24 hours to examine the data and answer questions about the nature of the intrusion depicted in the file. After correctly responding to these questions, Brandon moved to the next round, which required him to write an essay explaining why he wished to participate in the USCC. Of all competitors in Illinois, Brandon’s work in these stages qualified him to be among the 30 students to compete in the Illinois Summer Cyber Camp, which was held August 12 – 16 at Moraine Valley Community College.
At the Summer Cyber Camp, the thirty qualifiers received boot-camp style instruction for four days. Each day featured a different course that normally would span a week. The instruction covered the theory and practice of topics such as social engineering, Android penetration testing, network forensics and analysis, and tactical attacks. At the end of the fourth day, the students participated in the final phase of the competition, a capture-the-flag contest. For this part, the participants were divided into ten teams of three people and were charged with the task of recovering specific secret data from a supposedly secure system. Brandon’s team won first place.
This is the second cyber competition Brandon has participated in this summer. In June, Brandon joined fellow Lewis Computer Science and MS Information Security students Brian Wilhelm and Joe Kunnengode in the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge in Washington D.C.
This is a tremendous honor for Brandon. He is an extremely talented cyber security professional whose skills are matched only by his genuine curiosity. He is also one of the friendliest, kindest, and most helpful people you could ever meet. Furthermore, he’s really enthusiastic about and supportive of Computer Science at Lewis, having served as president of the department’s social club, Prometheon, for several years and serving as a volunteer tutor for current computer science students.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science is very proud of Brandon Greene and thrilled for his success. There will be a lot more to come!