Today, this space will be filled with 20 high school students from the greater San Diego area. The students are taking part in something we call Cyber Boot Camp, five days of hands-on education in the art of cyber offense and defense, hosted by ESET North America and Securing Our eCity.
The classes will be led by ESET security researchers Cameron Camp and Lysa Myers, supported by other members of the ESET research team including Stephen Cobb and Aryeh Goretsy. In addition to the lab sessions, the students will meet experts from ESET and other organizations in the local community, such as Bridgepoint Education, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego Police Department, Verizon, C.A.T.C.H., the FBI and more.
New for Cyber Boot camp this year is a field trip to Federal Court to hear from a judge and former cybercrime prosecutor. These experiences enable students to consider the skills they are developing and where they want to apply them in the future. And it seems to work. One boot camp alumni, Vineel Adusumilli, a Westview High graduate now studying at MIT, was recently quoted in the UT San Diego as saying “Cyber Boot Camp was a terrific learning experience, combining lab work using the latest tools with insights from experienced security professionals.”
The goal of the boot camp, attendance of which was offered to the top three teams in the fifth annual Mayors’ Cyber Cup, is to provide the right learning environment to interest more students in cyber security as a career. As ESET security researcher Lysa Myers has pointed out: America needs to do a lot more to promote STEM education in general. At Securing Our eCity we think that cyber security is one of the coolest ways to apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in the real world.
As we reported previously, the 2014 winners were, in first place, Canyon Crest Academy. In second place was the team from Westview High School, the school that won last year. In third place was Mira Mesa High School. The other teams that made it to the final round were La Jolla Country Day School, Patrick Henry High School, Ramona High School, and 2012 cup winners, Troy High School.
Of course, the Cyber Boot Camp would not be possible without the support of the community, so a big hat tip to the sponsors who made this year’s event possible, including ESET, SDG&E, California Coast Credit Union, Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP, Hughes Marino and Mendez Strategy Group. A special thanks is due to Computers 2 San Diego Kids or C2SDK, who provided those racks of machines for the week, and do a great job supplying schools and families in San Diego with recycled computer gear.