Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science


Computer Science and Statistics

First Advisor

Victor Fay-Wolfe


Cyber crime and cyber terrorism are a threat to the nation's security, economy, and private citizen welfare. More qualified cyber security experts are needed to combat this issue. Tools need to be provided to educators in order to teach cyber security principles and techniques.

Cyber challenges, where groups of students defend a network and/or data center against attacks, have shown to be effective motivational and recruiting tools in high school and college challenge events. There currently are significant barriers that contribute to the scarce use of cyber challenges in high school and college curricula. Current cyber challenge tools suffer from being very hard to configure, and/or very expensive, and/or limited to certain audiences.

The purpose of this thesis was to begin development of the Open Cyber Challenge Platform (OCCP), which is a platform for creating cyber challenges. The OCCP addresses the problems of other available cyber challenges by being readily available to high schools and colleges, reasonable to configure, and by having no or low software cost and reasonable hardware cost. In addition to the platform, an example Network Defense scenario was created using the OCCP which includes a virtual target network (VTN) from which other scenarios can be built from.



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