CyberPatriot Announces Winners of National Finals Competition

Last month, CyberPatriot announced the winners of the 2014 CyberPatriot National Finals Competition, a national high school cyber defense competition designed to expose students to the foundations of cybersecurity.

On March 29, 2014 CyberPatriot VI concluded its week-long National Finals Competition at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Team "Azure" of North Hollywood, California was named the division’s national champion.

“The Air Force Association is very proud of every one of our sponsors, coaches, mentors, team assistants, and most of all, all of our competitors for the enormous time and effort put into this season,” said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner.

CyberPatriot, the world’s largest high school cyber defense competition,challenges students to resolve real-life cybersecurity situations in a virtual environment. During the final round of the competition, twenty-eight teams of high school and middle school students competed to identify and fix network vulnerabilities and defend the network from professional aggressor team attacks.

The competition is the core of the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school students to pursue careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Using technology donated by VMware, a leading provider of cloud and virtualization software, students download "virtual image" representations of operating systems with known cyber vulnerabilities. Their goal is to find and fix these flaws while maintaining specified computer functions. The competition this year featured VMware Player, which enables users to create or run virtual machines on a Windows or Linux PC.

“We are very grateful to all of the contributions that make this program possible, including those from VMware,” said Alexander Hubert, Command Cyber Surety Manager, HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA/A6CS and US CyberPatriot Mentor. “The donated software boosts our students’ understanding of virtualization, gives them awareness of tools they may use in their personal lives, and can help inspire them to become future cyber defenders.”

Kaiserslautern High School DoDDS (KHS), a private, Department of Defense-operated international school in Germany, was named the at-large regional winner in the All Service Division, after participating in the phased competitions and State Recognition Round.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide our support for such a wonderful program,” said Bill Rowan, vice president, DoD, Public Sector, VMware. “US CyberPatriot does a fantastic job of opening students’ eyes to fields they may not have known even existed. The KHS team is a perfect example of the next-generation talent in cybersecurity and STEM disciplines, which are important to the future of our nation.”

The competition overall drew 1,566 teams and featured representatives from all fifty states. It kicked off last November with the online round of the competition. A second online round in December determined which teams would advance to the Semifinals. The teams advancing to the final round of the competition received an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC. to compete in the only in-person round of the season, the national finals competition.

The teams’ competitors from the high school divisions will collectively receive nearly $50,000 in scholarships from Northrop Grumman, the presenting sponsor.

Other CyberPatriot sponsors include Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, Raytheon, USA Today, Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold sponsors URS, Splunk and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, MIT LincolnLaboratory and University of Maryland University College.

“Cybersecurity events — most of them attacks — are in the news every single day,” Skoch said. “And as cyber threats to our nation continue to grow in sophistication and frequency, we absolutely must develop the next generation of cyber defenders to defeat those threats. Our CyberPatriot competitors have demonstrated throughout this season that they have the skills to meet that challenge. Congratulations to them all!"  

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