Norwich graduate students to hack a local business by request

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Students in Norwich University’s Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance (MSISA) program will hack the software of a small business as part of their final course work beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 17.

Working in Norwich’s Cyber War Room, students will examine source code, conduct vulnerability assessments, conduct penetration tests, and various other activities to determine if they can compromise the system. The business, which is not publicly identifying itself in the interest of discretion, is interested in determining if sensitive intellectual property is adequately protected from unauthorized disclosure.

Students will determine how a malicious adversary could exploit the weaknesses of the company’s software and what could be done to help prevent it from occurring. Based on the workshop outcomes and findings, students will prepare management level reports to present to the company, offering valuable and actionable feedback.

Allowing students to put theory into practice, the program’s first-ever hacking workshop is a four-day event occurring during Norwich’s annual Residency Conference for students in the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS).

The workshop allows students to apply what they learned in the MSISA program in a dynamic environment in a real-world scenario, honing project management, report writing, vulnerability, penetration testing, and digital forensics knowledge and skills.

This event is not open to the public.

The exercise came about in response to a direct request. Dr. Rosemarie Pelletier, director of the MSISA program, was contacted by the small business interested in having its software evaluated for security vulnerabilities or weaknesses. The software is designed to protect sensitive intellectual property while gathering survey participant’s feedback on products, services, commercials, and movies that are displayed by the software package.

In the spirit of service to others and experiential learning – two pillars of a Norwich University education – nine students accepted the challenge.

At the conclusion of the Residency Conference week, 58 students will graduate from the Information Security & Assurance program. Norwich’s online MSISA program introduces today’s most critical and relevant areas of information assurance and includes five concentrations that allow students to specialize based on their professional goals: computer forensic investigation/incident response team management; critical infrastructure protection & cybercrime; cyber law & international perspectives on cyberspace; project management, and vulnerability management.

Ranked #2 by the Ponemon Institute for cyber security in the U.S., Norwich University programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation for cyber security education. Norwich University is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has received designation as a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). Beginning in 2002, Norwich University became a member of what is now called National Science Foundation’s Cyber Corps: Scholarship for Service program. Norwich is partnered with the United States Army Reserves (USAR) to develop cyber-education curricula that align with federal standards and cybersecurity needs. Most recently Norwich’s online graduate program was named one of the top ten best cybersecurity graduate programs in the country by Universities.com.