FLINT TOWNSHIP — Cyber defense teams from Baker College’s Flint campus won first and third places at the Michigan Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. The first-place team advanced to the Mid-West Regional contest in Chicago, March 17-18, placing fourth in a field of 10.
Members of the Michigan championship team are:
• Jeffrey Matter, of Clyde, Ohio, team captain.
• Noah Bliss, of Hartland.
• Greg Kempf, of Pettisville, Ohio.
• Branden Hartwell, of Lapeer.
• Fred Perakovic, of Flint.
• Sean Julian, of Lapeer.
• Alexander Jindra, Whitehouse, Ohio.
• Devin Beaver, Port Clinton, Ohio.
Members of the team placing third at the state competition are:
• Jacob Humphries, Howell, team captain.
• Dan Printke, of Clio.
• Reed Behnfeldt, of Wauseon, Ohio.
• Jacob Whitener, of Howell.
• Caine Munro, of Flint.
• Tyler Loos, of Saginaw.
• Nicholas Welch, of Flushing.
• Brian Turpin, of Midland.
For each competitive event, students set up their networked systems and spend an hour protecting their applications, which are booby-trapped. Then they perform assigned tasks or injections, which can be already compromised. The students prepared for close to 100 injections. Next, the professional “white hat” hackers attack the systems.
“It was a tough competition and required on-point skills in the areas of technology, organization, communication and documentation,” said Doug Witten, Baker College of Flint program director for cyber defense, computer science and computer information systems. “The seven ‘white hat’ hackers – two of which were off-site – were excellent and threw some unconventional adversity into the contest. Our students were prepared – with practice schedules that rivaled a full-time job – and faced it like highly skilled professionals.”
The teams from Baker College’s Flint campus were among 11 competitors at the state event in Grand Rapids. All team members are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in cyber defense.
Accompanying the team to the competition, in addition to Witten, was Baker College instructor and team advisor Matthew Hansel, president of Inter-Network Design LCC.
Baker College campuses in Flint, Jackson and Clinton Township have a successful history in this annual competition with each winning at least one state championship since 2008. Baker College of Flint has earned four state championships, and two each regional and national crowns.
The competition is organized by the Michigan Collegiate Cyber Defense Network, a group of network engineers, security experts and educators working to advance cyber defense education in Michigan. The group designs and holds competitions and joins with other state groups to expand the competition.