Marcelle Lee, of Severna Park, was one of two Anne Arundel Community College students to take top honors in this year's The Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center's (DC3) Digital Forensics Challenge.
AACC beat out all other community colleges in the international competition and placed 23rd overall. Patch caught up with Lee to talk about DC3, and what started her down this path.
Patch: Do you have a hard time explaining these competitions to friends/family?
Marcelle Lee: I didn't have a hard time explaining the competition, at least for some of the challenges. Most people in my circle can understand examining browser history or email headers. Some of the challenges were a little harder to explain. I'm sure my husband is tired of hearing about the minutia of each challenge I worked on!
Patch: Do you consider the term "hacker" to be derogatory and do you identify with it?
Marcelle Lee: The term "hacker" has a derogatory connotation for me. If I use it in reference to myself or classmates I will say "ethical hacker." My kids call me a hacker, in a joking fashion.
Patch: What led you to this interest in computers?
Marcelle Lee: I love the detective aspect of cybersecurity, along with how the field is constantly changing.
Patch: Was there one particularly difficult challenge this year?
Marcelle Lee: There were several tough challenges. I spent many hours trying to solve the Steganography (hidden digital images and/or files) challenge, using at least a dozen different tools and could only get close enough to see what was hidden but not how to get to it. It was very frustrating and I kept going back to it to try new ideas and solutions.
Patch: Will cybersecurity be a part of your career in the future?
Marcelle Lee: I definitely plan on a career in cybersecurity. Specifically I am interested in intrusion analysis, incident handling and network forensics.