Working together to defend a network of servers that are set up to simulate a business environment is Millersville University’s Cyber Defense Team, who recently put their computer security skills to the test at the CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) held March 14-17 at John’s Hopkins University. During the competition, Millersville’s team, the only one from Pennsylvania, competed against seven other universities and placed second in the overall competition and first place in the category of service availability.

Members of Millersville University’s Cyber Defense Team.

The members of Millersville’s Cyber Defense Team, all of whom are computer science majors, include juniors Travis Romero, team captain; Joshua Van Hine, Bob Hennessey, team co-captains; Andrew Elliot and David Anaya; sophomore, Dylan Leakway; senior, David Lu and freshman, Mark Schmele. Todd Echterling, system administrator for Millersville’s computer science department, and Dr. Nazil Hardy, associate professor of computer science, serve as faculty liaisons that work with the team.

The CCDC was comprised of two rounds that included a virtual online exercise involving active hacking and physical intrusions. The theme of this year’s competition was healthcare, as a result of President Obama’s healthcare bill and the need for more security experts in this area. The teams were required to abide by official Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations while competing.

“During the competition, our greatest strength was our ability to work together as a team and solve problems,” said Van Hine. Additionally, Romero notes, “The team also excelled in setting up the firewall and keeping all of the systems up and running.”

Throughout the competition, the team was responsible for completing business injects, which are tasks that management want completed. Additionally, direct communication with the company’s CEO was required during these injects. Team members note that this was the most difficult aspect of the competition, as they needed to perform day-to-day tasks on top of defending their systems.

Next year, the team hopes to become more focused by splitting up time between completing the injects and maintaining their services. “Now that we have a better understanding of how the competition works, we should be able to study more appropriately. For instance, we will be sure to become masters in each individual application we are put in charge of,” said Hennessey.

For more information, contact Echterling at or 717-871-5676.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Way to go MU!!! Great job!!

  2. Congrats to the MU-CDT. Well done!!!

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