North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
July 10,2023
            July 17: Noon. Rotary lunch at the Bark.  Program: Saling Scholarship winners. 
            July 24: Noon. Rotary lunch at the Bark.  Program: Lumen STAR scholarship winners.
            July 31: Noon. Rotary lunch at the Bark.  Program:  Kale Colyar -- How Spokane Rotary Assistance Has Helped Holmes Students and Staff
Happy Buck$:
            Michelle Fossum was happy to see the group Alabama.
            Ron Noble was happy for two restful days at Newport.
            Melinda Keberle was happy for two restful days at Lake Union.
            Jerry Logan was happy to join fellow car enthusiast Bill Simer at the auto races, and Bill was happy that his meal was “a gourmet halibut,” while Jerry munched earlier on a hot dog.
            Club President Michelle Fossum said the U.S. Patrol Spokane sector headquarters is hosting citizens’ academies and open houses on July 27 and Aug. 3 at 6-8 p.m. and Rotary members are welcomed.
            Also, on Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kootenai County Emergency Center in Hayden the Disaster Aide U.S. A. will train disaster response techniques. District 5080 members are welcomed.
 Eagles win cybersecurity championship
            So what do Mark Few and Stu Steiner have in common?
            Both were seeking national collegiate championships from Spokane area schools.
                    But while Mark’s two-decade search for a championship win in Gonzaga’s “March Madness,” Stu’s Eastern Washington 10-person cybersecurity team won the national title with a narrow win over a big time program from the University of Florida in Gainesville.
            At the July 10 club luncheon, Stu showed a very detailed slide show of the Eagles’ win.  The title: “Securing the Present, the Future and Winning a National Championship.”
            Steiner is an assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering.  He also is director of Eastern’s Cybersecurity Program.
            He said in this area only EWU and Spokane Falls Community College have cyber centers of this type.
            Amid a maze of codes and numbers, Stu used “colored hats” to define differences.  The white hats are good, the black hats are “bad guys,” and grays are “hackers, easy to cross.”  Green hats are new players; blue hats are defensive moves and red hats “the opposite,” he said.
            Cybersecurity challenges proliferate around the world, Steiner said, and burgeoning artificial intelligence systems make difficult problems even worse.
            “You would be astounded by the data sent through the internet – terabytes and tens of terabytes,” Stu said.
            Malware miscreants can sneak into systems with a simple “hello” text in Chinese, and then they can access the entire program, he said.
            “It’s a very reactive world,” Steiner said, adding the worst problem is “the user” who does not guard passwords.
            EWU’s cybersecurity program works with the City of Spokane, Schweitzer Engineering and others in testing and securing critical infrastructure, he said.
            Steiner said many jobs are open to help curb malware systems, adding, “I teach for a living, but I could make three times my salary in private business.”
            A bit like March Madness, EWU’s team beat a 10-team regional March 11 to move to the championship.
            On April 11 in Tampa, the heavyweight teams including Syracuse, Tulsa, BYU and a number of schools with “pyrotechnical” and “aeronautical” in their names.  Stu said, despite the obvious geographic clue, “many didn’t know where Eastern Washington was.”
            Much of the competition included securing infrastructure from attack and keeping the systems running.
            On April 22, in an eight-hour mind-bending competition, the Eagles finished with 6,274 points, edging the Gators by just seven points. Covering six dedicated machines and trying to avoid “cross and bones” malware graphics, Stu said, “It was a dumpster fire all day long” of hacking and restoring programs.
            But Eastern triumphed, and the S-R headline said the Eagles “took a ‘byte’ out of the Gators.
            Stu did admit to one EWU “mal-wear” error.  Long-sleeved shirts were provided for the Eagle teammates, but with the hot, humid Tampa weather, a scissors turned the jerseys into T-shirts.
                  Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink