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Roger Baker advances to final round of National Cyber Analyst Challenge

November 05, 2015

By Jessica Corry, Carnegie Mellon University / 412-268-4829 / jcorry@andrew.cmu.edu

A team of graduate students from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), including Roger Baker of the Information Networking Institute (INI), has advanced to the final round of the National Cyber Analyst Challenge (NCAC), sponsored by Lockheed Martin.

Baker, a Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) student, will head to Washington, D.C. to compete against teams from eight other universities on November 5-7.

“A dominant force in other challenges and contests, it only makes sense that Carnegie Mellon would compete at such a high level in this competition,” said Baker. “There's no other team I'd want to quarterback, and no other school I'd want to represent.”

In Phase I, teams analyzed a complex real-world case created by Lockheed Martin experts. Under the guidance of Joseph Mayes, a technical staff member within the CERT Program at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI), the CMU team reviewed over 75 gigabytes of data to find the cause of the problem, before submitting a 10-slide analysis and solution to the cyber-attack.

“The biggest learning benefit, by far, is being able to apply the skills and knowledge gained from the courses I've taken, especially those in the Cyber Forensics and Incident Response (CyFIR) track,” added Baker. By qualifying for Phase II and Phase III, the CMU team has been awarded $15,000. The final round offers a $25,000 award for the winning team.

“We are thrilled to partner with the nation’s top universities to invest in the future workforce. It is gratifying that the Challenge has attracted multi-disciplinary interest from Management Information Systems, Computer Science, and I-School programs, as employers need a mix of skills that cross all these areas,” said Chris Kearns, Lockheed Martin vice president of Enterprise IT Solutions.

The interdisciplinary nature of the NCAC is exactly what makes it an ideal fit for INI student participation. “Interdisciplinarity is a core value of the INI, reflected in the courses we offer, the students we attract and the diverse careers our alumni pursue,” explained Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of the INI, noting the way in which business and policy intersect with technical skills in the INI’s programs. “We wish the CMU team the best of luck as they demonstrate the strength of a Carnegie Mellon education.”

About the National Cyber Analyst Challenge

The National Cyber Analyst Challenge, in its first year, is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, in conjunction with the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) at Temple University. For more information see http://cyberanalystchallenge.org/

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