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DakotaCon 2014: South Dakota’s Epic Cyber Security Event

February 25, 2014

DakotaCon, South Dakota’s premier security event, returns to the Dakota State University campus on Friday, March 7th, through Sunday, March 9th, in Madison, S.D. Once again, DSU is bringing the best and brightest cyber security individuals together for three full days of talks, competitions, and trainings, all in the middle of a cornfield.

The 2014 event starts Friday with free presentations from nationally recognized cyber security speakers including Rob Kraus, the director of research for the Solutionary Security Engineering Research Team (SERT), and Jeremy Scott, a senior research analyst with the Security Engineering Research Team at Solutionary. Kraus and Scott are the first speakers scheduled on Friday morning for the presentation, “How Highly Effective CSOs Prepare for DDoS.”

Other cyber security sessions on Friday, March 7th will be led by Michael Sikorski, a Technical Director at Mandiant; Eric Smith, a Senior Partner and Principal Consultant at LARES; Jared DeMott, a security researcher for Bromium, Inc.; Joe Grand, the proprietor of Grand Idea Studio; and Dave Kennedy, the proprietor of TrustedSec. The topics included in these sessions include: the difficulty in bypassing the protections offered by EMET; specifics on the open source hardware tool, JTAGulator; discussing the Social-Engineer Toolkit and how you can actively block its attacks; an introduction to Practical Malware Analysis; and the value of Social Engineering exercises.   

 “This is a great opportunity for the students, faculty, and alumni of DSU to sit side-by-side with regional IT professionals and enjoy a full weekend of cutting edge security content. What’s truly amazing about DakotaCON is that the speakers and trainers are known worldwide and will be spending three days at DSU all in the name of cyber security. These guys get pulled in a lot of directions, and their involvement in DakotaCON and our regional CCDC shows their support in what DSU is doing in the cyber security world. The entire weekend is a great chance for people from the area to spend time with the best of the best in the cyber security world; and we’re excited it’s happening at DSU,” states Dr. Josh Pauli, associate professor of cyber security at Dakota State University.

In conjunction with the DakotaCon presentations on Friday, the North Central Region Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) will be held Friday, March 7th, and Saturday, March 8th on the DSU campus. This competition gives students the chance to test their knowledge by building, protecting, and maintaining a realistic network and operations environment. This nationally recognized competition focuses on the operational aspect of managing, securing, and defending a “commercial” network infrastructure. Participating teams will be required to demonstrate their ability to withstand and defend against real-time network security attacks. This is the 6th regional CCDC competition that DSU has hosted. The public is invited to come watch the competition.  

On Sunday, March 9th, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., day-long trainings from the nation’s top security professionals will take place. These trainings are open to the public and the cost to register is $350. The focus of Sunday’s trainings are “Practical Malware Analysis: Rapid Introduction,” “Hands-On Hardware Hacking and Reverse Engineering,” and “Bypassing Security Defenses – Secret Penetration Testing Techniques.”

Sponsors of the event include the SANS Institute, DSU Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems, First Bank and Trust, Citi bank, First Premier Bank Bankcard, SDN Communications, SPAWAR, Daktronics, Sanford Health, Solutionary and the Dakota State University Alumni Association.

For information on trainings, presenters and to sign up for DakotaCon, log on to www.dakotacon.org. You can follow DakotaCon on Twitter (@DakotaCon). For question about the event, contact Dr. Josh Pauli, Associate Professor of Cyber Security at Dakota State University via email, at josh.pauli@dsu.edu.

For additional information on the CCDC event, go to http://ia.dsu.edu/ccdc. You can follow CCDC on Twitter (@NC_CCDC).