Reporting Mike Schuh
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With experts warning of a coming shortage of those who can battle computer hackers, new cyber security degrees are popping up at universities all over the country, including College Park.
Mike Schuh reports a Catholic high school is getting its brightest students on the fast track.
The threats lurk deep in server farms, bits of code, written by malicious hackers or governments. These codes can travel into a target computer and find information that is not meant to be shared.
Gregory Bednarski from the Department of Defense explained how the security system works.
“Every time we do a slate denial of service attack and I would take down the chat server, you’d see this window,” he said.
If you understand what this instructor is saying, congratulations. However, if not, you have no option but to put your trust in those who do.
At Catholic High School in East Baltimore, 18 incoming sophomores are learning how to defend a computer attack.
Although their vacation has just begun, these smart kids are not worried that they are back in school.
“A lot of people who don’t go here think it’s crazy, but one of the reasons I came to Catholic High School during the regular school year is knowing that I could do the science program, and we are the only school offering four years of actually being able to learn the science,” said Catholic High School sophomore Sarah Nakasone.
Computers all seem so complicated, but is defending them difficult?
Catholic High School student Jewel Oliver weighed in.
“I don’t know. Define difficult. Difficult as in you don’t think a 14-year-old girl could do this? Yes, but once you’re actually taught how to, it’s actually not as hard as you think,” she said.
Even as sophomores, many of these students think they know what they want to do, ranging from the field of diagnostics to biochemical engineering. But such a complete education sharpens their minds and opens doors.
“And this is going to expose them to a new career field, not just engineering or math,” said Catholic High School principal Marti Meyd.
Special classes are mandatory for girls at Catholic High enrolled in advanced science, technology, engineering and math classes.