SIU’s student cybersecurity team wins wildcard competition, moves on to regional

Members of SIU’s Security Dawgs will compete in the Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense...
Members of SIU’s Security Dawgs will compete in the Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Members of the team, from bottom left, are Mike Whisenhunt, Tony Barnes, Andrew Barnes, Alex Hayes, Dustin Myers, Isaac Brown, Tyson Nicklin, Matthew Pawlowski, Matthew Nicklin and Trent Grider.(Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 11:05 AM CST
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s student cybersecurity team took first place at a multistate event and will move on to the regional competition.

According to a release from SIU, the Security Dawgs were the top team among 18 at the wildcard round Saturday during the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

The eight-member team moves on to the Midwest Regional CCDC tournament March 17-18 at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.

Security Dawgs team members, with their programs and hometowns, include:

  • Dustin Myers, team captain, a senior in information technology, Johnston City
  • Mike Whisenhunt, senior information systems technology, Mount Vernon
  • Trent Grider, senior in information systems technology
  • Tyson Nicklin, junior in information technology, West Frankfort
  • Andrew Barnes, senior in computer science, Danville
  • Isaac Brown, senior in economics, O’Fallon
  • Matthew Pawlowski, junior in information technology, Mundelein
  • Tony Barnes, senior in information technology, Danville

“The team’s hard work paid off,” said Matthew Nicklin, assistant lecturer in SIU’s School of Computing and the team’s adviser. “Their success is a reflection of the excellent education they receive at SIU Carbondale.”

Teams from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri and Wisconsin will be on hand for the competition.

According to the release, it will pit teams from two- and four-year colleges and universities that will build and defend mock production business infrastructure from professional “hackers” trying to take each team’s production systems offline and breach the security.

At the same time, judges will deploy network enhancements and upgrade challenges to teams, evaluating each team’s performance along the way.