We’ve concluded the 2016 PDX Cyber Camp. It was a huge success, check out our final report here.
Here are highlights from the week!
We kicked off the first day of the PDX Cyber Camp, with a full house of engaged high school students. Covered online/computer ethics, basics of computers systems, and security threats. Highlight of the day was a fascinating presentation by guest speaker Steve Parker, President of EnergySec, an industry association focused on cyber security of our national electricity infrastructure.
Day 2 of our Cyber camp was a big success! I could not be more proud of the student instructors and the amazing quality of the guest speakers that day. Adam Wick, from Galois (below) discusses a common technique to gain a foothold inside someone’s network. (Don’t do this at home.) And, techniques to defend against it.
Sanchit Karve from Intel Security discusses why it’s so hard to stop malware, and what they are doing about it.
Amelia Kawasaki, student instructor and camp co-founder discusses checksums as a technique to ensure files are not corrupted.
Nes Cohen, Student Instructor and co-founder covers Windows Firewall settings and policies.
Day 3 was intense. Many hours of Windows configuration labs led by Charlie Kawasaki, and the students concentrated hard to worked through them with diligence. The real highlights of the day were the guest speakers of course.
Sean Ennis an incident response ninja from RSA research kicked it off, emphasizing the skills and traits needed to combat attackers.
Jon Walker, from Lockheed Martin covered the wide range of tools needed by enterprise to secure their networks.
I spent the bulk of the day in the nitty/gritty details of securing windows, including File Permissions for users and groups, backup/restore, event viewer, audit policies, performance monitoring and more. One pretty complicated lab today push us all a little.
Day 4 included an all day session on Linux security, taught by the amazing student instructor Zander Work. The students ate it up, and many wanted more.
Following the daytime class, the students and their families met at our house for a networking-reception with industry experts. It was lively and packed. A special thanks for participation from experts from our sponsors including PacStar, Galois, and CTL, as well as bonus visits from computer security leader Prof. Wu-chang Feng from PSU, Jeff Hekmati, security architect from XPO. Students and families had a chance to discuss careers and follow on opportunities with people in the field. And tons of yummy food from Rock Creek Corner Cafe!
Last day of the camp! We ran a competition where teams of three students each collaborated to create secure OS configurations. It was spirited, and the competition was tight among a few of the top teams. Several of the teams really did well, and one team spent a few nights after hours prepping for the contest. Winners received Raspberry Pi 3 ultimate starter kits, which were well received of course.
Student Survey Results
We also ran a survey of the students, most participated. The responses were very enthusiastic by all measures. Here are some highlights:
Average: 3.75 out of 4. That’s an “A”, right?
Average: 3.85 out of 4. Close to a perfect score for the guest speakers! Big thanks for Steve Parker, EnergySec, Adam Wick, Galois, Sanchit Karve, Intel Security, Sean Ennis, RSA and Jon Walker, Lockheed Martin
Sponsors and industry take note: As a program to build the workforce, this format appears to be very successful.
We asked the students for a few quotes, here they are, unedited
“I found the camp informational and definitely an eye-opener. I think being at this camp has inspired me to do more.”
“Taught me to both secure my computer from invaders and get future contacts in the cyber security business.”
“Informative, interesting, and most of all, the food was great.”
“Amazing program! met and exceeded my expectations”
“You lose nothing, and gain an insane amount of information”
“This camp helped me learn a huge amount about cyber security, like why we need it, and why it is so important to pursue it as a career”
“This camp taught me the importance of cyber security and the thousands of jobs it holds.”
“The camp not only teaches skills that the students can use later on in life, it gives them the connections to have the opportunity to do so.”
“The patience and competence of the teachers was incredible.”
“A great and in-depth introduction to the field of cyber security!”
Many Thanks to Sponsors!
This camp would not have been possible with the generous support of our financial and in-kind sponsors, including:
Many Thanks to Volunteers!
In addition to sponsors, the camp was driven by the efforts of many volunteers providing their time, energy, expertise and guidance. Special thanks here for those that did the heavy lifting!
Amelia Kawasaki, Organizer/Student Instructor
Zander Work, Organizer/Student Instructor
Nes Cohen, Organizer/Student Instructor
Barbara Berge, Organizer
Rick Tinling, Lincoln High School, Computer Science Teacher
Peyton Chapman, Lincoln High School, Principal
Adrian Larson, Lincoln High School, IT staff
Twila Denham, EnergySec, Workforce Development Manager
Megan McKenzie, McKenzie Worldwide, PR
Eric Gellaty, Lockheed Martin, Senior Account Manager
Elizabeth Schaedler, RSA, Territory Sales Manager
Christy and Robert Bennett-Hanes, and the team at Rock Creek Corner Cafe for the great food all week!
And for the helpful advice and inspiration: Prof. Wu-Chang Feng, PSU and Judy Andersen, Daimler Trucks North America.
And many more for helping spread the word and recruit students!