In these trying times, Howard County has taken initiative to provide computers to disadvantaged students so they have access to virtual learning. VINDICATE secures these computers from cyber vulnerabilities to ensure safety and protection to these students.

What it does

Because these computers are windows-based, the code is written in batch, the windows familiar coding language. There is no need to download and external IDE or program to run the code. Upon execution, the app displays a menu of a variety of hardening tasks as well as user management options, including listing services, user information, granting administrator privilege, turning on the 3 firewall domains. Made to be user friendly and turns the hardening process into a few button presses for the Admin working with the system before distribution.

How I built it

Used notepad, made a simple menu and coded hardening procedures in each module accordingly. Certain menu items required additional prompts, which were added and given additional procedures based on user input. Some items save information into a text file for later use (e.g. Make User Records, Find File Extension).

Challenges I ran into

Complying for different security environments, got around it by specifying locations and requesting certain phrases for code to work with. Also had to run it in a VM so the changes wouldn't apply to my home computer.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

"Find Extension" took a lot of errors and debugging until I got it to where it is now, there was lots of variance regarding the file extensions and location paths to search and create the report. Once I got around this, other items became much easier to code (List Services, List Processes, Make User Records). Additionally, certain items would need more than just one run, so I made a feedback loop to bring you back to the same module once more (View account information for multiple accounts).

What I learned

How windows takes commands and file locations as inputs, as well as what a user-friendly interface looks like despite the tedious operations that lie behind it. Cyber security can be made fast and easy through a simplistic and appealing menu, which will save a lot of time for those who secure these systems before sending them to students.

What's next for VINDICATE

Code advanced operations such as uninstalling programs, installing security components (anti-virus, scanning programs, etc.) and expand GUI interface. Once product is on its final iteration, will look to make offers and revise based on suggestions from various companies and authorities.

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