CTU Students Win Top Honors at National Security Competition

By Robert “Bob” Lally, M.S., University Dean, Homeland Security

CTU NSIC First Place TeamWe have a lot to be proud of at Colorado Technical University (CTU) and I’m delighted to share another reason with you.

On April 26, 2013, CTU was awarded first place honors at the 7th Annual National Security Innovation Competition presented by the National Homeland Defense Foundation. The award was presented by Fred Mooney of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) and LTG Ed Anderson of the National Homeland Defense Foundation (NHDF).

The project, titled A Novel Method to Detect the Zero-day Variant Malware and its Application on Mobile Devices, was developed and presented by students Kelly Hughes and Scott Melton under the advisement of Dr. Yanzhen Qu. It was conceived as a result of Hughes’ doctoral dissertation. The team developed a new technology that is designed to enhance protection of personal computers and wireless devices from virus attacks that come from malware.

Dane Egli, Ph.D., Senior Advisor of National Security Strategies at The Johns Hopkins University and judge for the competition had this to say about the team’s presentation:

“CTU received my winning vote because it was highly innovative, reflected rigorous analytic methodologies, leveraged the strengths of a systems approach, and contributed significantly to addressing a vexing national security challenge in the 21st Century.

The concept not only targets a crucial capability gap in the national security enterprise and defense industry, but it is also a harbinger for future solutions to confront threats and vulnerabilities in cyber networks. The new method proposed to detect harmful variant malware (logistics regression and aggregate signature creation) represents a breakthrough scientific solution to identify and mitigate a destabilizing source of network corruption.

Finally, the team made a professional and persuasive presentation that stood out in an impressive field of exploratory submissions from around the country, including the Air Force Academy, West Point, Virginia Tech, University of California-Davis, MIT, and University of Wyoming.”

In addition to receiving top honors and recognition, the team received a prize award of $10,000. They are in the process of filing a patent for the technology and intend to begin licensing it to software companies.

Please join me in congratulating this winning team by sharing your support in the comments below.


CTU Faculty - Bob LallyRobert “Bob” Lally, M.S., University Dean of Homeland Security, is responsible for the strategic direction for all security university programs related to homeland. Now a retired naval captain his career spanned 28 years. Bob holds an M.S. in National Security from National War College and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.  Connect with Bob on LinkedIn.


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Image credit: CTU. Pictured left to right: Fred Mooney, Dr. Qu, Kelly Hughes, Scott Melton, LTG Ed Anderson


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