Cyber Camp Develops Tomorrow’s IT Security Pros

Government Technology website has an article about an information security challenge:

At 10:49 a.m. last Friday, Prof. Dan Manson cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted to seven teams of five eager people that they could begin a virtual Capture the Flag competition at the 2011 U.S. Cyber Challenge Summer Camp at Cal Poly Pomona. 
The players manned laptops and began the simulation in which they entered a network to infiltrate servers, conduct penetration tests, analyze attacks and contents of files, overtake control of networked services and crack passwords. 

This sounds like a great idea to bring the talented people who are really interested in Information Security into the field and provide real opportunities for them. As a fairly seasoned InfoSec professional this is something that I would definitely be interested in attending. The learning experience alone that this could provide sounds amazing. Being able to hang out with other InfoSec professionals for a week, with a common goal of information sharing, gathering and protection.

One of the reasons I'm so interested in this type of environment as opposed to the standard classroom style environment is because of the way that I learn. Which is that I learn by doing, rather than by hearing. Because of this, I both agree and disagree with the posters comments regarding:

According to this school of thought, those who belong to organizations like LulzSec, the group responsible for hacking into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computersin June 2011, might have gone down a more law-abiding path if they’d been reached at the right time by programs like the challenge.

The real key is earlier in the article where it states that you have to keep the students engaged. It has to be interesting and continue to provide a challenge, otherwise you get bored and look for something different or more rewarding to do.

Looks like I will be studying for and taking one of the SANS GIAC courses so that I can volunteer my time for this. Two of these courses are already on my career objectives. I will be going after at least one of these next spring if not soon. Then maybe I can be a part of one of these camps up here in Northern California.