Mason student team wins $3,000 prize
The Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis Center (CINA), is a multidisciplinary academic consortium led by George Mason University that pursues innovative strategies and solutions to advance criminal network analysis, forensics, and investigative processes. CINA researchers are developing tools and technologies, as well as innovative educational and training solutions, to advance our nation’s abilities to counter transnational criminal activities. During this hackathon, problem statements 2 and 3 fed directly into CINA’s research priorities.
“We look for immersive, experiential learning like this to offer students the opportunity to develop their research, communications, and team building skills while broadening their understanding of the DHS and CINA missions,” said Deanna Austin, CINA Workforce Development and Education Lead and a member of the CAOE-led Critical Infrastructure Hackathon organizing committee. “The CAOE team created an engaging framework where our students could collaborate while also expanding their knowledge about real issues that challenge the homeland security enterprise.” Austin added.
Problem Statement 1: How can we support the United States infrastructure to detect when an autonomous vehicle has been hijacked or had its system taken over?
Problem Statement 2: How can we support identification of the rising tide of illegal activity even on open-source networks while protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure?
Problem Statement 3: How might we mitigate attacks on digital elements of our nation’s critical infrastructure through prevention, detection, and/or response?
Participants were not provided the problem statement until the beginning of the weekend, establishing an even playing field for research, analysis, and presentation.
Congratulations to the George Mason University students in CINA Team 7 (Hajar Al-Ali, Casey Cho, Amaha Isayas, and Junaid Naick) for achieving first place addressing problem statement #3 by providing suggestions to integrate tools for active defense in critical infrastructure.