Computer Information Systems Students Win National Computer Security Video Contest

Computer Information Systems Students Win National Computer Security Video Contest
Click here to view “Bob, You've Been Phished.”

Three Computer Information Systems (CIS) students have won a gold award in a nationwide computer security awareness video contest. Seniors Kevin Atef, Johnson Chau and Michael Wong were honored by EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force, and the National Cyber Security Alliance for their video production of “Bob, You've Been Phished.” In addition, CIS senior James Kulbacki earned honorable mention for his video “Password Strength & Security.”

The students videos can be viewed at

The contest is part of a national campaign to raise awareness of, and increase computer security at, colleges and universities.

“The prevention of computer-related security problems is a critical issue for institutions of higher education. Students are particularly prone to cybersecurity risks,” says Rodney Petersen, security task force coordinator with EDUCAUSE. “We believe that the videos that were produced as part of this contest will go a long way towards educating students about how to improve the security of their computers, use the Internet safely, and will enhance their overall academic experience.”

Bob, You've Been Phished” is a spoof of a popular “Enzyte” commercial. In the three minute-video, Bob, a typical college student, gets mixed up with Internet banking and online dating, eventually leading to his personal information being stolen via a “phishing” attack. (Phishing is a form of social engineering where a person poses as a trustworthy source in an attempt to acquire sensitive information.) After being exploited by the attacker, Bob is informed of the security concerns with phishing and given suggestions on how to prevent this from occurring in the future.

“We felt this video would be a great way for us to make a contribution to the CIS department and to inform fellow students on internet security,” Cal Poly Pomona's students said.

“The whole process, from brainstorming to editing, was a team effort,” they explained. “We learned as we went, using each others strong points to make the video a success. Slowly it came together, piece by piece, from researching the song title to convincing a male student to dress up as an attractive female college student, skirt and all! The video is guaranteed to teach you something and make you laugh at the same time.”

The contest searched for two categories of short computer awareness videos that addressed a broad range of security topics or focused on a single security issue. There were 62 video submissions — developed by college students for college students — from 17 universities. Winners were selected for creativity, content and quality of information, overall effectiveness of the delivery and technical quality. Cal Poly Pomona's gold winners received a $1,000 cash prize, and their video will be used in campus security awareness campaigns and efforts nationwide. Other winning entries came from Savannah College of Art and Design, College of William & Mary, University of Virginia, Idaho State University, Wake Forest University and James Madison University.

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Led by more than 200 U.S. universities working with industry and government, Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education. The National Cyber Security Alliance is a not-for-profit central clearinghouse for cyber security awareness and education for home users, small businesses and the education community.