AACC team wins cyber forensics competition
Jan 02, 2013 (The Capital - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A team from Anne Arundel Community College won first place in a U.S. Department of Defense digital forensics competition.
It is the second consecutive year a team from the college brought home top prize in the community college division of the Defense Department Cyber Crime Center's Digital Forensic Challenge.
This year's team, the "Mad Hatters," consisted of Marcelle Lee of Severna Park and Dustin Shirley of Odenton. The team was ranked 23rd of 1,209 teams internationally, including those from graduate schools, industry and the military.
Lee and Shirley are in the Cyber Forensics 2 class taught by Dawn Blanche, instructional specialist for the college's cyber program.
Lee is majoring in cyber security and Shirley is majoring in cyber forensics, though neither had experience in digital forensics when they started on the yearlong competition last spring. After tackling the first problems, both signed up for the first forensics course, Cyber Forensics 1, in the summer.
"They worked tirelessly up until the buzzer, to use a sports term," Blanche said. "They did research levels beyond the foundation courses. I couldn't be more proud."
Lee said she began the exercises as a way to check her skills against an outside source. Each success propelled her to continue.
Shirley's summer instructor mentioned the challenge and he thought he'd try it. When they both landed in Blanche's second forensics class, she suggested they become a team.
Scoring was based on their ability to recover digital evidence and their understanding of legal authority, proper documentation and report-writing techniques.
The exercises were broken down into five levels, Level 100 Novice, Level 200 Advanced, Level 300 Expert, Level 400 Master and Level 500 Developer.
The Level 400 exercise had no known solution. At Level 500, teams must develop digital forensic tools to complete the exercise.
Both students will graduate in May.
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