HackFest: Teaching students and the community about cyber protection


October is National Cyber Security Month, and Baylor is helping to teach future Information Technology students on the world of cyber information protection – something we can all use in today’s dangerous digital world.

We begin with Baylor University’s first annual HackFest, a competition for future hackers. They team up and work together to gain access to certain websites.

These websites simulate everyday sites we go on like our bank accounts, our businesses, and our Facebook pages.

All of the teams participating are trying to hack into the main servers sitting in the middle of the room – a.k.a. the websites. Once the team is able to access the database, they plant their flag and get a point for their team. 

“So what we’re doing today is developing leaders in the cyber security community, and it’s really important they learned the offensive and defensive skills so they can go out to the companies, multinational companies, and protect everyone’s information,” says Jeff Donahoo, Baylor Faculty and HackFest Coordinator. “Particularly one of the main ways that people get attacked is through phishing emails. So you get an email that looks like it may have come from a friend, it asks you to click on the link or to download something and run it. That may be used as a way to infect your machine.”

Earlier, a special panel of I.T. professionals shared what they do in the cyber businesses and what 
we can do to protect our digital lives.

“It’s amazing the kinds of things that are out there, that we’re not even thinking about, that are going to be problems,” says one of the panel experts.

“What we’re really trying to do is make an effort to raise cyber security awareness not only on our campus, but to the public as well,” says Jon Allen, Cyber Panel Host and Baylor faculty member.
“If you think about it, don’t reuse passwords over and over again. Don’t use the same password on your Facebook account that you use on your Bank of America or other banking sites. Make sure that when you have information you’re posting publicly, is that information that you’re comfortable with anyone potential he having.”

For more on how to learn about Cyber Protection at home, you can go to:



Bear Aware at: http://www.baylor.edu/its/index.php?id=59216

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