Business faculty members and alumni recently simulated a cyber attack for a group of FBI agents and industry professionals who are on the front lines of combating online crime and cyber terrorism.
The cyber attack exercise, held in October at the Long Beach Scottish Rite Library, showed participants the type of sophisticated cyber crime that affects businesses. Computer information systems (CIS) Professor Dan Manson and adjunct instructor Brandon Brown created the attack, along with alumni Jeff Henbest, ’09, CIS, and Rodney Kocot, ’81, data processing. During the simulation, criminals from a foreign country hacked into company databases to empty bank accounts, access company credit cards and steal intellectual property secrets.
After presenting the exercise in a case study format, the CIS group showed attendees how to stop criminals from inflicting further damage and how to recover from a security breach. As creators of the cyber attack, the CIS group was referred to, in information security parlance, as the red team.
“Having experts on the red team really gave us a new perspective and a whole new way of looking at the problems,” says FBI agent Reggie Canales-Miles.
Canales-Miles also is the program coordinator for the Los Angeles chapter of the InfraGard Members Alliance, the group that organized the event. InfraGard members work for the FBI as well as private and public sectors and collaborate on the best ways to protect infrastructures that could be terrorist targets such as our water supply, transportation services and telecommunications.
“This particular exercise took us to a different level. It is really exciting,” she says.
The InfraGard offers a cyber attack exercises once a year for its 1,500 members. The InfraGard has partnerships with many universities but this is the first time that a university created a cyber attack exercise, and Canales-Miles plans to invite Cal Poly Pomona again.
Manson welcomes the opportunity to lend his expertise.
“Our Computer information systems faculty appreciate the opportunity to partner with the public and private sectors on real-world cyber security exercises,” says Manson, an InfraGard member since 2003.