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Hackers, cybersecurity leaders train at weekend event hosted by Cal Poly

Posted at 5:33 PM, Nov 04, 2018

Professional hackers from around the world flew into San Luis Obispo to test the security systems of internet browsers.

Cal Poly students competed against skilled “white hat” hackers from government organizations and the cybersecurity industry at the hackathon in “Red Team vs. Blue Team” training exercises over the weekend.

Cal Poly’s California Cybersecurity Institute also showcased a mock city complete with a staged hospital and business that participants will hack into and protect during the training scenarios.

Jason Haddix is the Vice President of Research Growth at Bugcrowd. He says protecting computers and data is extremely important because the frequent use of computers.

This weekend, professional hackers came together to try to find a vulnerability in a popular router.

Finding the router weak spots can prevent someone from taking some of your most important files.

“It could be used for breaking into your house, it could be used for black mail, there’s all kinds of insidious things that people could do,” said Haddix.

The research the hackers gather here can be used worldwide to keep people safe, Haddix said.

“With an increasingly interconnected world, crime has moved onto gaming platforms, smart TVs, vehicles and other home appliances,” said James Baker, CCI interim director of industry outreach. “Cyber criminals are now exploiting the multiple vulnerabilities of millions and millions of connected devices that comprise the giant network referred to as the internet of things. The Red Team vs. Blue Team will demonstrate to the general public how a public network may be attacked through the proverbial ‘front door.’”

“The looming cyber threats facing organizations as well as private citizens with the internet of things is serious,” CCI Program Director Martin Minnich said. “The hackathon shows that through public and private partnerships, we can solve real-world problems in real time cheaper and faster than previously thought possible.”

The team partners with Cal Poly to use the space they were in on Sunday to education. Students also used Saturday to learn how to hack.

Cal Poly News contributed to this article.