Cyber Sleuthing at the INI

INI Students Featured in Magazine Cover Story

Chris Take a peek at a day in the life of our information security students in Carnegie Mellon Today, the university's alumni magazine. In the cover story "Crime Stoppers," readers are treated to a snapshot of the cybersecurity field and a play-by-play account of our team's win at the Shirahama Cyber Crime Symposium.

Writer Jennifer Bails tells the story in the magazine's January 2010 issue, with interviews from INI students in the Kobe MSIT-IS program, Chris Yu-Lu Liu, Yuki Osawa, Cindy Pei-Chun Su, and Eddie Yu-Fang Tsai, as well as comments from INI Director Dena Haritos Tsamitis, INI Associate Director Nicolas Christin, and Professor Chris May. The photography is by Yasu Nakaoka Photography.

An excerpt follows with a link to the Carnegie Mellon Today article.

... Each team, comprised of college and graduate students, must effectively role-play and collaborate to resolve mock IT challenges for virtual customers in real time. In the case of the hacker breaking into the database of the Japanese Web-hosting firm, the "IT experts" foursome is comprised of students from Carnegie Mellon's Master of Science in Information Technology-Information Security (MSIT-IS) program in Kobe, Japan. All of them are from Taiwan except Osawa, a Kyoto native.

In the championship round, the five teams have six caffeine-fueled hours to handle as many security incident complaints as possible. Judges evaluate the students on the speed at which they solve the problems, their knowledge of cybersecurity, and how well they communicate with their virtual clients and teammates.

"This contest is quite famous in Japan—and very prestigious to win, especially if you want to work in the IT security field," says Su, 25, who studied computer science as an undergraduate in Taiwan and came to Japan for the opportunity to study at Carnegie Mellon without traveling too far from home.

The 16-month program in Kobe underscores the expanding global reach of the Information Networking Institute (INI) at the university. The INI is an integral department of the College of Engineering and a collaboration of the School of Computer Science, the Tepper School of Business, and the Heinz College. It also is the educational partner of Carnegie Mellon Cylab, one of the largest academic cybersecurity research and development centers in the United States, points out Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of the INI and director of CyLab Education, Training, and Outreach. In addition to the Kobe MSIT-IS degree program, the INI also runs graduate degree programs with academic partners in Athens, Greece; Lisbon and Aveiro, Portugal; and a new bicoastal program in Silicon Valley.

"Carnegie Mellon has great depth of expertise in cybersecurity and networking, and we want to share that with other institutions around the world who are trying to solve the same global problems," Tsamitis says ...

Read the article.

Pictured at top and on the homepage: Chris Yu-Lu Liu. Photo by Yasu Nakaoka Photography.

Pictured below: Members of the winning team, Kobe MSIT-IS students from left to right, Cindy Pei-Chun Su, Chris Yu-Lu Liu, Yuki Osawa, and Eddie Yu-Fang Tsai. Photo courtesy of Johanna Crisostomo.

Team Photo