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Electrical and Computer Engineering

NetSec

About

Queen's NetSec is an EngSoc ratified design team which aims to teach and apply the fundamentals of computer and network security. As we move further into the digital age, it is important that we take the time to fully understand the automatons we develop and surround us in our daily lives to ensure their functionality is to our expectations and without compromise. To that goal, NetSec teaches students how to build robust and secure networks, and the skills necessary to test their functional reliability.

History

NetSec was started in Fall 2013 with only a following of a handful of members. Mentored by Professor Thomas Dean, the group has grown to over 40 active members. The group held their first capture-the-flag (CTF) in April 2014, and has continued to grow this annual exercise in difficulty and complexity every since. Starting in 2013 with a handful of members with laptops connected by a sea of cables over network hubs, NetSec today hosts exercise environments over a custom built secure VPN service and four servers, each hosting a plethora of different virtual machines (VM). Alumni of NetSec have gone on to pursue graduate studies and careers in Network Security industries ranging from Web Development to National Defence.

Ethics

Queen’s Network Security Team teaches and promotes exclusively White Hat ‘Ethical Hacking’, or, in layman terms, the testing of networks and systems only with explicit prior permission from system owners and exclusively in limited controlled settings. In the same way that is necessary to understand the structural and functional limits of a padlock in order to develop a more secure one, NetSec teaches many of the skills necessary to build a secure network and to scrutinize an existing network for security flaws. This is accomplished through a combination of tools for networking, penetration testing, static & dynamic reverse engineering, and forensic analysis. Over the past couple years, NetSec has strived to compile a knowledge base of materials to teach students how to utilize these tools effectively and efficiently, within the confines previously set out of ethical hacking.

NetSec welcomes all levels of knowledge and experience, to get involved email: netsec@engsoc.queensu.ca.