Discipline: Computer Sciences and Information Management
Subcategory: Computer Science & Information Systems
Aaron Smith - Norfolk State University
In his remarks at the Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit, President Barack Obama stated that our young people are one of our greatest resources and that they have the ability to reshape the world daily .The President has also longed realized the importance of computing and Cybersecurity in the future of the U.S., and the need to provide sound theoretical and hands-on knowledge in these areas to produce the next generation of competent professionals. President Barack Obama informed his listeners on the importance of cybersecurity when he acknowledged the growth of online consumers’ presence and encouraged young people to exploit their young and innovative ideas unto the digital world . This research investigates the use of computer network security visualization to engage learners at cyber exercise events. Specifically, the goals of this project are as follows: 1. To conduct a study on the principles and practical implementation of ping flooding denial of service attacks, and 2. To study the learning or sense-making effectiveness of visualization methods for ping flooding denial of service attacks (or distributed denial of service ping flooding attacks), and to suggest ways that they might be improved. To train the young people of the United States of America, cyber defense competitions are popularly utilized. Cyber defense or capture-the-flag (CTF) competitions are structured security training exercises used to evaluate a group (particularly students) on their understanding of computer security and their execution of defensive techniques and resources. CTFs allow students to gain experiential learning outside of the classroom and internships. With cyber-attacks on the rise, it is important that cyber defense competitions not only engage participants but also the spectators. In order to lead in cyber security, the US as a whole must provide effective training to students that have an interest in the area. Students who may have limited knowledge of the principles and techniques of the field might also become interested if engaged effectively at venues, such as cyber defense competitions. From our observations, spectator presence at cyber defense competitions is limited and sometimes non-existent. This is largely due to a limited or non-existent infrastructure to engage spectators at these events. This research proposes that incorporating visualization into CTF competitions can help to improve spectator engagement. This will allow those not familiar with cyber security to be engaged through the capture and visualization of information related to attack and defense activities, while also maintaining the interest of student participants.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): I would like to acknowledge NSF for funding this project on the Scholarships for Service (SFS) grant.
Faculty Advisor: Claude Turner, email@example.com
Role: All parts of this research was completed by myself from launching the ping flood attacks, to evaluating the effectiveness of using visualization to engage participants and spectators, and the development of the competition application. This research is currently ongoing.