Learn to Guard Against Hackers, Malware, Bugs at Cyber Security Fair

Learn to Guard Against Hackers, Malware, Bugs at Cyber Security Fair
Students check out a webcam at last year's Cyber Security Fair.
Companies such as eEye Digital Security attend the annual event.

If your computer is running slowly, it might be just a little hiccup — but it could be a sign of serious trouble. Trojans, bots and spyware not only slow a system down, they can seriously compromise a computer user's privacy.

“By knowing how a hacker works and how he thinks, computer users can better protect their privacy,” says Chris Laasch, IT administrator for Student Affairs Information Technology Services. “You may think you're safe, but a skilled hacker can exploit even the tiniest opening.”  

This year's Cyber Security Fair, Thursday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bronco Student Center, will not only demonstrate how to combat malware, it will open a window into the world of hackers and the ways they exploit even simple bugs. The event, which corresponds with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, is for experts and casual computer users alike.

“With so many problems lurking just a keystroke away, it's important for computer users — and that's pretty much everyone — to know how to protect themselves,” says Anna Carlin, a lecturer in the Computer Information Systems Department.

The event will include four presentations on computer security, a prize giveaway and exhibits from industry leaders:

  • Corey White, director of consulting for the Western Region at Foundstone, will lead a session on the “hacker's toolbox,” demonstrating how simple bugs can be exploited to completely compromise a computer system.
  • Cloud computing and virtualization are revolutionizing today's computing environments by reducing costs, complexity and power consumption. Now, multiple operating systems like Windows and Linux can run on a single piece of equipment. With the push for virtualization, plans to protect this new environment should be considered. “Security Best Practices for Hyper-V,” by Microsoft's Tom Tally, will offer a security overview and explain the best practices of Hyper-V, a hypervisor-based virtualization system for you to build your cloud.
  • The Management Information Systems Student Association (MISSA) will lead a session in learning how to detect and protect against malware. “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” will show how commonly used websites such as Twitter, Limewire and BitTorrent may make a computer vulnerable.
  • Students With an Interest in the Future of Telecommunications (SWIFT) will show the advantages of Linux as a more secure operating system. They will demonstrate how to use live CDs to test a complete installation of Linux without altering the contents and configuration of a computer.

Industry leaders and vendors will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate products, and there will be a drawing for prizes including an Xbox 360 arcade console with UFC Undisputed 2009, a QuickStart Microsoft class worth as much as $2,500, and Targus Defcon 1 notebook locks.

For more information about the Cyber Security Fair, go to www.cpp.edu/~cyberfair/index.html.