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Campers taking a byte out of cybercrime

Class is in session for some high school students in Lackawanna County, but this isn't your typical school subject they're learning.

SCRANTON, Pa. — More than 20 students from across the area are participating in the University of Scranton's Cyber Investigation Camp this week.

Each day, the students learn about cybercrimes and security and hear from experts in the field. On this day, they were putting what they've learned to the test in a team competition.

"They compete both in terms of the ability to investigate the problem or the crime that they're given as well as to write it up. And so there's two parts, the investigation and the write-up of their findings and the results," explained Michael Jenkins, a professor in the University of Scranton criminal justice department.

"extract hidden messages from pictures that you wouldn't have known where there are. What we're doing now is kind of almost solving fake criminal cases but doing it through computer software, and I find that super cool," said Madeline Herold, an Abington Heights junior.

This program is free for students to attend, so Eoghan Murphy, a senior from Wayne County, came back for more because he learned so much last summer.

"It really sort of set me on a path of what I want to do as a future career, and so I wanted to do it again and see if there was more I could go into," Murphy said.

The need for people in the cybersecurity workforce is growing rapidly. This program gives high school students a chance to see if this is something they want to pursue a degree in.

"It allowed me to see how people can work to protect against cyberattacks and how many people are working for the betterment of the cybersecurity realm," Herold said.

"The need is out there in terms of job availability, and the need to prepare students who are well versed in these concepts and these ideas and have practical experiences such as this camp to be able to draw on when they're working in the field," Jenkins added.

Students will also take a field trip to a cyberintelligence company in Washington D.C. to tour its facility.

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