CyberRange Team: Creating The Perfect Sandbox Environment

To practice hacking- you can’t just go in and hack any old computer. To see just exactly how much information that trojan virus that was advertised to you on a fishy website took, you can’t just download it and let it run loose! That is- unless you want to open up a ton of vulnerabilities on your personal hardware. You would have to have a safe sandbox environment to really be able to risk-free assess your malware or simulate a breech. At the Leahy Center, the CyberRange Team is on the case!

But what is a ‘CyberRange’?

A cyber range is a network environment where organizations can practice their cybersecurity skills. They are often used to practice through real hacking or breach scenarios. By upkeep and maintaining cyber ranges, there will be a rise in cybersecurity skills as well. The cyberrange is a simulation of real world threats in a cyberspace, so different hacks, social engineering. They try to simulate and write up and use it as education material. The goal is to provide the most realistic cyber training to anyone who is looking to learn and protect themselves from cyber threats.

The CyberRange Team encompasses a ton of different Computer Science and Cybersecurity features, requiring all hands on deck . This includes pentesting (or- ethical hacking), computer science (programming), and system management. When working with the team, students have opportunities to assist and learn all of the different facets of what goes into maintaining a cyber range. While this proves a healthy challenge for newcomers onto the project, it also allows for a huge scale of growth as well!

At The Leahy Center, the CyberRange Team received a $3.4 million dollar grant in order to maintain and create a cyber range for the secret service. This contract means that the CyberRange’s team is not only to maintain this CyberRange, but also help train the secret service in cyber crimes. This has helped the scale of the project increase, with a full size team of about 13 Champlain students working.

PROFILE: Maximillian Carney

Max is a current Computer and Digital Forensics student with a graduation year of 2026. In the past, he worked doing tool evaluations and as a security technician with the Leahy Center, but since this semester (Spring 2024), he has joined the Cyber Range team.

To him, the most rewarding part of being a part of the team has been practicing his Cybersecurity skills.

“[I] for sure initially struggled with some of the early concepts, but after working with team mates who are more well versed and conducting my own research, it came much more natural to me,” Max said, “Going into the role, I am very verbal about the fact that in many aspects, I was seemingly lacking in proficiency in the realm of cybersecurity. So, I have been using this role as an extracurricular opportunity to grow as a student and a learner.”

Despite the initial uncertainty, Max has flourished since on the team.

“This team is absolutely electric, I have loved every moment with these guys. Communication is clear, teamwork is effortless, and we all get along as people. Truly has been a great experience so far.” Max said.

Since being on the team, Max has participated in a couple of projects. Recently, they have worked on establishing malware and taking full control of computers, simulating real attacks between machines.

“This semester I am most excited about working with these guys to really elaborate on our work and create some real next level stuff. I have complete confidence in the ability of our team, we just need some time and the sky is our limit. It has truly been a blessing to be part of this team of like minded individuals.”

PROFILE: Sam Guinther

Sam was a previous Champlain student as a Cybersecurity and Computer Networking. He worked on the CyberRange Project as a student and saw that a spot was open to manage the team, so he took it! Now he works as the manager of the Cyber Range team.

“I think the most rewarding part of the team is probably seeing a scenario come to completion. We haven’t gotten there yet, but as we’re building it, a phase of the project gets completed and closed out.” Sam said, “It’s not done yet, but we still pride ourselves on completing phases.”

On the CyberRange team, students also get the opportunity to try real on-field technology that surrounds ethical hacking. For Sam, I asked what his favorite part about managing the CyberRange team.

“Also, being able to see students mess around with technology they wouldn’t mess around in class. [Such as] different types of malware and such that they can actually deploy on a network.” Sam responded, “Seeing them mess around with that untouched, behind-the-curtain tech is pretty cool.”


Overall, The CyberRange Team is quickly growing at The Leahy Center. With the growing scope of the team, and a huge enthusiasm, the team is bound to be an amazing experience for all involved! Plus, most of all: create a wonderful cyber range!

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Written By:
Cierra Rossi ’27, Professional Writing

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