Monthly Archives: February 2016

Apple vs. FBI: The Debate between Privacy and Security

What is the fuss about? The reason that the FBI and Apple are in a heated debate is over one iPhone, but it is much more than that.  The argument began after a shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015.  Considered as the worst mass shooting in modern US history since 2012, says NBC, the shooting ended with 14 killed and 21 wounded.    The 2 suspects for the shooting were both killed in a gun fight with policemen.  Terrorism is suspected (Ortiz, 2015).  With the FBI’s hands on the iPhone of one of the suspects, the FBI is desperately trying to gain access to the information on it to see if there was another shooter; law enforcement had previously believed that there may have been 3 shooters rather than just 2 (Ortiz, 2015).

In order to collect this information, the FBI needs access to the iPhone.  However, they are are struggling to gain access.  The FBI had contacted Apple and asked that they help them get information off of the device.  When asked, Apple denied helping, claiming that the FBI wants them to create a backdoor to get into all iPhone products.  The issue here is that iPhones are encrypted.

Why is this topic so controversial? This topic is so controversial because it goes so much further beyond just one simple iPhone; this situation magnifies the debate of security versus privacy.  This is something that the US government has been in turmoil over for years, especially when terrorism is involved.

The FBI is more concerned with security over privacy, while Apple is more concerned with privacy over security.  The FBI wants access to an iPhone that they have been locked out of when they reset the iPhone’s password when attempting to get into it.  Unfortunately, Apple says that since the password has been reset, there is no longer a connection to the cloud information because there is a password disconnect (Burchette, 2016). This is why the FBI has asked for a program to hack into the encrypted iPhone.  This is also why Apple is non-compliant .

Apple has exposed this situation because this shows a government that is no longer concerned with privacy, or with the consequences of creating such a program.  The difficulty of the matter is that this all comes back around to the Patriot Act, an amendment to the United States’ Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA).  The Patriot Act has been around to create a loop hole for the Wiretap Act in order for law enforcement to surpass the need for a warrant for wiretapping, if there is suspected terrorism (Craig, 2013).  Given the controversy of this Act, there is clarity as to why this iPhone dilemma has gotten so big.

Can you see both sides?  Of course.  This entire thing has two different ways of looking at one case:

  • FBI’s Point of View:  There is a need to put the security of the United States over the general privacy of the people.  There is a need to look at the risk of not knowing crucial information on terrorism.  If you do not know what is going on, there is no way that another attack can be prevented.
  • Apple’s Point of View:  There is a need to put privacy before everything else.  If a program is made to get into the encrypted iPhone, it can be used by anyone who has it, and that is why there is so much resistance to make it.  This would not be one case, this would be the start of a further loss of privacy.

What is happening as of right now?  People have begun picking sides, and sticking to them.  Apple has written up its legal response detailing their refusal to the FBI’s request(s) (Heisler, 2016).  The FBI has continued to defend itself, claiming that it is not asking for a backdoor into all iPhones, but means to get into this one in particular.

All in all… This is a highly controversial topic and it is going to be one of many cases that will further influence the Crypto Wars, the battle between privacy-minded technologists and the U.S. government (McLaughlin & Froomkin, 2016).



Burchette, J. (2016, February 21). FBI Admits It Reset San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone Password. Retrieved from The Wrap:

Craig. (2013). Cyber Law: The Law of the Internet and Information Technology First Edition (pp. 92-131). Pearson.

Heisler, Y. (2016, February 25). Here’s Apple’s long-awaited legal response to the FBI. Retrieved from BGR:

McLaughlin, J., & Froomkin, D. (2016, February 26). FBI vs Apple Establishes a New Phase of the Crypto Wars. Retrieved from The Intercept:

Ortiz, E. (2015, December 3). San Bernardino Shooting: Timeline of How the Rampage Unfolded. Retrieved from NBC News:






Carnegie Mellon University’s Summer Security Intensive

CMU’s Summer Security Intensive is an opportunity provided for current juniors, who are pursuing work in the Cyber Forensics and CIS fields of work. The SSI is a paid summer fellowship, provided by CMU.  The total that can be earned from participating in this fellowship is around $2500.  Heinz college provides financial aid for all of those accepted into the program which can cover all participation costs, transportation, housing, meals, tuition, books, other supplies, social functions, and also a 1,000 stipend.

Participants will go to classes and get to meet and gain experience with some of the most skilled professionals in the cyber security field.  The three classes that SSI participants will take will focus on security topics, that are issues that many students and professionals alike face.


To apply for this fellowship, follow the link here.

Again the opportunity to apply for this fellowship is quickly approaching, and those interested should apply immediately.

Bender Computing- Positions for IT Majors with Disabilities


Bender Consulting Services Inc. has been a leading national expert in getting jobs for people with disabilities.  They have been supporting corporate and federal recruitment, workplace mentoring, and technology accessibility initiatives for 20 years now.

**For more general information, visit

Through the IT Leadership Rotational Program (being offered in Cranberry, PA; Blue Bell, PA; Downers Grove IL; and Phoenix, AZ), you would be able to get experiences key for your future career. You will:

  • Participate in extensive training and development opportunities
  • Develop key competencies through enterprise-wide rotational work experience and extensive training opportunities
  • Rotate through a series of challenging projects and technical assignments within IT organizations
  • Complete projects and assignments in areas such as cyber information security and architecture, project and program
    management, IT architecture, infrastructure, networking, engineering, and software testing, all designed to deliver real business

In order to get a position, you will need to fill some qualifications:

  • Required – Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in an information technology-related major, such as MIS or computer science, with an anticipated
    graduation date of May 2016.
  • Strongly preferred – GPA of 3.3 or higher .
  • Strongly preferred – Previous co-op or intern experience in related discipline.
  • Strongly preferred/Required – Drive for success in a fast-paced environment and determination to meet tight deadlines.
  • Required – Strong communication, analytical, results-oriented, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills.

To apply for this opportunity, visit to fill out the electronic form.



HM Health Solutions’ Project: Future

HM Health Solutions is holding an event called Project: Future event on Friday, March 18, 2016 in Downtown Pittsburgh from 9 am to 3 pm. Developed specifically for seniors seeking to jump-start their career upon graduation, Project: Future will showcase HM Health Solutions to give attendees a look into what we have to offer, our career opportunities, educational sessions presented by experts on key topics in the technical industry and the opportunity to network with our employees.

They are looking to recruit top talent for Project: Future and would love representation from Robert Morris University.  Interested candidates should email their resume to Upon meeting the following criteria, eligible candidates will receive an official invitation for admission (space is limited):

  • Will earn a bachelor’s degree or higher in Application Development, Project Management, Business Analysis, Information Technology Operations or similar field
  • Currently has and will earn an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Legally authorized to work for any United States employer
  • Preference will be given to candidates that have demonstrated leadership abilities through their studies, employment or extracurricular activities

Step “IT” Up With Thermo Fisher Scientific – Thursday, March 3rd

Thermo Fisher Scientific will have a networking opportunity on Thursday, March 3rd from 5:30 – 8:00pm at 300 Industry Drive. RSVP to by Feb. 29th.

A flyer is attached below with more information.

Thermo Fisher.png

iOS Development Internship at AppTurbo

AppTurbo is hiring the following position: iOS Developer (H/F)

AppTurbo is a leading app discovery application that provides a unique mobile marketing service, promoting a free application every day to its community of 35 million users located in over 30 countries.

Among the IT team, you will work on our iOS mobile development with the lead developer and the product owner.

Technical Skills :
· Swift
· Objective-C
· iOS 8, 9

Interpersonal Skills :
Appreciate good design and have an eye for details
Really love mobile devices and digging into the platform

Nice to have :
· Self-starter who embraces new technologies
· Have done a mobile project in your spare time
· If you have a GitHub account, please include it in your application

Additional information:
Beginning: ASAP
This internship will last 6 months

To apply, please visit:

March 9: Collegiate Job and Internship Fair

Computer & IT Majors:  22 employers want to meet you!

Western PA Collegiate Job and Internship Fair
Wednesday, March 9
10 am – 3 pm
Monroeville Convention Center

It’s the largest job fair in the region with over 130 employers already registered and 150 – 160 expected! For fair information and a full list of employers, visit: and download the WestPACS Career Fair+ app on both iOS and Android devices!

American Textile Company
Ariba, an SAP Company
Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc
Compunetix, Inc
Creehan & Company
Highmark Health
Keller Williams Real Estate Professionals
LANtek Computer Services
Management Science Associates
Mylan Inc.
Novitas Solutions
PA Liquor Control Board
SDLC Partners
Smith Micro Software, Inc.
SoftWriters, Inc.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration, Office of Audit
ZOLL LifeVest

Wombat Security – Wednesday, February 24th

The Top Secret Colonials are sponsoring a presentation by Wombat Security on Wednesday, February 24th from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.

Wombat Security is a cyber security company whose goal is to deliver software-based cyber awareness and training to help employees understand the risks associated with improper cyber practices and subsequently correct their behavior to strength an organization’s overall security environment. Wombat utilizes a Continuous Training Methodology to serve its customers, assessing the vulnerability of employees through a variety of custom knowledge assessments before seeking to educate on those flaws to maximize learning through a broad set of interactive training modules. Those customers who have implemented this approach have experienced up to a 90% reduction in successful phishing attacks and malware infections on their company.

This presentation will focus on the products Wombat delivers to its customers. During the presentation, Sean Ehrman and Jake Pancari will simulate a mock-phishing attack and demonstrate the training modules customers would go through should they fall for said-attack. They will also discuss the dangers of social engineering while reviewing a real case study before ending in a Q&A segment.

Students will earn 1 SET credit for attending.

Here is their website:

Monday, February 22: LunaMetrics Presentation on Google Analytics

Alex Moore from LunaMetrics will give a presentation on Google Analytics for CIS students on Monday, February 22nd at 4 p.m. in the Wheatley Atrium.

LunaMetrics (at is a Digital Marketing and Google Analytics consultancy helping businesses use data to illuminate the bridge between marketing, user behavior, and ROI. We love Google Analytics and Search Marketing, and we’re a Google Analytics Certified Partner and a Google Partner for AdWords. We focus on providing customer service and integrity in our consulting services, provide basic through advanced trainings nationwide, and keep analytics professionals up-to-date and on the ball with our blog.

Here is the schedule of events:

4:00 – 4:15 PM –  SET Registration and free pizza

4:20 – 5:00 PM –  LunaMetrics Presentation

5:00 – 5:45 PM –  Q & A session