Feb 9, 2014 10:42 AM by Mackenzie Lee - KPAX News
MISSOULA - Montana professionals from as far away as Billings came to Missoula this weekend to take part in a cyber security class that teaches techniques to track cyber attackers.
"It's like a puzzle, it's a big puzzle and that's essentially what you do with forensics and security is you try and put the pieces together," forensics analyst Dianne Burke explained.
The University of Montana and LMG Security partnered to bring the training course "Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace" to Missoula.
"it's very condensed. It's basically a grad class that's taught in four days - from 9 to 5. It's half hands on labs, half lecture. So we cover covert network tunneling, packet analysis, wireless network forensics, malware analysis, pretty much the whole range of what might be included in network forensics," LMG founder Sherri Davidoff said.
Put simply - those taking part learned how to follow - and stop hackers - who are trying to infiltrate company computer systems and steal people's personal information.
Students worked with a model called Aurora, which was was used to hack into Google in 2010.
"The sort of forensics work we do is not really all that different from what you see on TV. We're doing the same thing - with different kinds of crimes that aren't physical," explained LMG founder Jonathan Ham. "So the sort of evidence we gather is how did a person hack into a system? When did they do it? Did they steal anything?"
Ryan Alter, the CEO of Alter Enterprise in Missoula, said what he's learning during these labs is already helping his clients.
"Last night we went over to a company that had a little bit of a security breach, and we're like 'oh we just learned in class today how to fix this type of thing' - or how to prevent this in the future for our other clients. So overall it's going to help us make our clients more secure."
The four long days of learning aren't just hard work.
"The funny thing is that we're all kinda nerdy in here and we're just having a good time. It was Friday night, 5 o'clock and we were staying to look at all this stuff," Alter told us.
The classes were held in the University of Montana's new Cyber Innovation Lab building.