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Edmonds CC student finishes first in ethical hacking competition

Anna Truss
Anna Truss


Edmonds College student Anna Truss proved her skills in ethical hacking at a National Cyber League competition where she earned first place in the first round of Western division competition and placed sixth nationwide.

In 2010, Truss earned her Associate of Science degree at Edmonds CC as well as Computer Information Systems (CIS) certificates in Digital Forensics and Network Security Specialist. She's also earned CIS Certificates of Completion in Information Security, Computer Forensics, and Security Implementation, as well as a Computer Science Certificate of Completion in Java Developer. She is now working on an Associate in Technical Arts degree in Information Security and Digital Forensics.

In addition to her courses at Edmonds CC, Truss plans to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree from Excelsior College in Information Technology with a concentration in Cyber Security Technology.

In the recent competition, players competed in a computer security game called Capture-the-Flag, where they answered security-related challenges and searched for digital “flags" hidden on servers or in encrypted text and applications. Participants had to be skilled in computer forensics, cryptography, network penetration testing, Web security, and system/network administration.

Truss, originally from Turkmenistan and now living in Everett, arrived in the U.S. as a work and travel exchange student in Montana. After a trip to Seattle, she decided to start her computer education in Puget Sound. “I was very lucky to find Edmonds College,” she said. “It offered better degrees and better instruction, so I knew I was in good hands after visiting the campus.”

A few months after enrolling, Truss took a job in the International Student Services marketing department, where she was a graphic designer and English/Russian/Turkish interpreter for more than two years.

After attending a digital forensics seminar presented by Edmonds CC Computer Information Systems instructor Steven Hailey, she was hooked. “This seminar helped me find my passion in life,” said Truss, who is secretary of the Washington state High Technology Crime Investigation Association. Hailey is president of the association, and fellow Computer Information Systems instructor Mike Andrew is first vice president.

After completing all required digital forensics and information security classes, she co-founded Mill Creek-based DefSec Solutions, LLC, an information security and digital forensics company providing advanced network audits, digital forensic, advanced persistent threat solutions, security assessments, data recovery, and penetration testing.

Truss recently completed two digital forensics cases, making more than $10,000 in the process.

“Anna is an excellent example of what graduates of our program can accomplish,” said Hailey.

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Computer Information Systems at Edmonds College