Students learn computer security essentials at UB Lockdown competition

UB students Issac Choi, computer science; Jashonda Williams, business administration; and Jihoon Park, computer science; defend against simulated computer attacks at the 2016 UB Lockdown competition.

Release Date: April 27, 2016 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — A team of five University at Buffalo students proved they could successfully defend a business from nefarious computer hackers and took first place in the third annual Lockdown cyberdefense competition April 9 in the UB School of Management.

Graduate students Mohammed Arif Ali, Gee Sung, Aditya Sreedhara and Abhishek Kulkarni, and undergraduate student Justin Perry, made up the winning team.

The completely student-run competition provided cybersecurity beginners with a hands-on opportunity to learn the computer security challenges businesses and organizations face every day. This was the first time the competition garnered corporate sponsorship and was open to teams outside of UB.

“This collaborative event is geared towards beginners in cybersecurity, with an emphasis on education over competition,” says David Murray, associate professor of management science and systems in the UB School of Management. “The student organizers did an outstanding job developing and running the entire event.”

Nine teams from UB, Hilbert College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and Alfred State College worked to defend computer systems from hacking attempts, ensure the uptime of the network in a simulated corporate environment and complete assigned tasks—all while staying under budget. In all, 62 students participated as competitors or volunteers.

Alexandra Mazzei, a Master of Science in management information systems student in the UB School of Management, served as Red Team leader for the Lockdown and led simulated attacks against the teams competing to defend their networks.

“The biggest thing I learned was how important it is to develop good communication skills among your teammates to boost overall team performance,” she says.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

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