What started out as a group of graduate students with a common advisor has grown into Cyber WVU, a West Virginia University club aiming to educate and compete in the field of digital and cyber forensics and security.
Roy Nutter, Jr., professor of electrical engineering, turned the group onto the DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge. The annual event, conducted by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, is a call to the digital forensics community to pioneer new investigative tools, techniques and methodologies. It encourages innovation from a broad range of individuals, teams and institutions to provide technical solutions for computer forensic examiners in the lab as well as in the field
“Dr. Nutter told us that West Virginia didn’t have any teams or organizations geared toward the mission or competition,” said Jim Mantheiy, Jr., a graduate student in electrical engineering. “In fact, West Virginia is the only state in the union that has not been part of the DC3 competition. We started this club in an effort to fill that gap.”
“Each one of our personal computers, banking and financial systems, as well as our infrastructure systems, is under cyber-attack virtually every minute of every day,” said Nutter. “A newly configured machine that goes online will typically be attacked within eight minutes. ‘They’ are after our bank accounts, our intellectual property and our personal information. I have called our students ‘our last and only hope.’”
According to Nutter, the club will participate in international competitions, which are controlled environments that allow them real-world cyber defense experiences that they cannot get in the classroom.
The club would seem to be a natural fit for WVU, which is home to the Center for Identification Technology Research or CITeR. CITeR is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. WVU is the Center’s founding I/UCRC site focusing on biometrics and related identification technology and systems.
“Our mission is to expand the knowledge of others in the field,” Mantheiy said. “We are hoping by spreading this knowledge, we can help prepare people against cyber attacks and prevent people from becoming victims of cybercrimes.
The club currently has access to 20 forensic computers to conduct scenarios and labs.
This club is open to anyone, Mantheiy said, because different views may show different solutions to problems.
With 40 members, the club is hoping to continue growing and encourages all interested students to seek out more information regarding membership.
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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon