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Community Profile: The ICS Grey Hats

The ICS Grey Hats is a student-led, extracurricular organization focused on real-world training for cyber defense. Membership gives students an outstanding opportunity to learn and apply critical skills, and to share with others interested in modern security issues.

About the Grey Hats

small-greyhats-teamSpr2011The Grey Hats is a Registered Independent Organization at the University of Hawai’i – Manoa, and fosters education in the fields of Information Assurance, Network Management, Cyber Security, and Security Ethics. Hosted by the Department of Information and Computer Sciences, the group provides students a venue for networking with industry and government, performing community outreach, and for practical application of security skills in a supportive environment.

An education in security must include the methods used to attack systems. All members of the Grey Hats agree to abide by a strong code of ethics, as members are trusted with access to the practices, procedures and technologies used to attack and protect valuable information assets and systems. This trust requires an uncompromising commitment to satisfying the highest moral and ethical standards. Adherence to all laws, rules and regulations applicable to the field and practice of information security is critical.

An important function of the Grey Hats is participation in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions ( Through group training sessions, and in competitions against teams from other universities, members learn and employ current best-practices from the world of corporate cyber-defense. While ICS majors makeup the majority of the group’s members, interested students from other departments are encouraged to participate.

Results from the 2011 CCDC

The UH Mānoa Grey Hats, made up of eight Information and Computer Science students,  placed second in the at-large regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition on Saturday, March 5, 2011.  Virtually hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the UH Mānoa team “logged-on” from UH Mānoa’s Pacific Ocean Science and Technology building. Over the course of the weekend, the team worked to maintain and secure a network from intrusions for a small college campus, while keeping all necessary services available to students, faculty and the public. These real-time events allowed students to hone their skills in information assurance, cyber security and prepare them for employment once they graduate.

The ICS cyber defense team consisted of members: Alexander Chantavy, Anthony Gaskell, Robert Kim, Vince Loiseleur, Mark Munar, Bryce Nagareda, Jason Tsang, and Jason Yeo. The Grey Hats were one of eight teams from across the country that participated, each trying to repel the “Red Team” operating out of Mississippi State University. For this competition, students were asked to take on administrative duties as the IT staff.

Leading up to this event, the team met regularly over the Fall and Spring semesters to train for the event, spending their free time researching networks, operating systems and software vulnerabilities outside the classroom in order to fine-tune their defense and operational skills.

Contact us

If you would like to be involved with ICS GreyHats or learn more about their current activities: