For Immediate Release
October 20, 2009
AFA Announces Nation’s Largest Simultaneous High School Cyber Defense Competition
Arlington, VA – The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced that more than 200 high schools from 44 states, South Korea and Japan, will participate in CyberPatriot II, likely the largest live high school cyber defense competition ever staged. The national deployment of this one-of-a-kind competition will begin with an opening round on November 7, 2009.
“We’re excited to announce this unique, competitive learning experience,” said S. Sanford Schlitt, AFA’s Vice-Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education. “This is a dramatic expansion of the CyberPatriot competition that began last year as an AFA initiative to promote student career interest in cyber security and other science, technology, education and mathematics career fields.”
On November 7, 2009, the entire field of 200-plus teams participating in CyberPatriot II will step up to their computers, type in a password and begin a race to the finish solving a series of cyber defense problems within a unique computer program pioneered by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Teams have up to six hours to correct 100 percent of the vulnerabilities in a virtual network, and will be ranked according to their success and speed with the SAIC system tracking their progress.
The top 24 teams from the November 7 competition move on to the November 21 semifinals, with a much more complex virtual network and an entirely new set of vulnerabilities. Also participating on November 21 will be one “wild card” winner from a November 14 consolation competition involving those teams who did not qualify on 7 November.
From the 25 qualifying teams, the November 21 semifinals will determine the final eight which receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Orlando, Florida for the February 19, 2010, championship round, in conjunction with AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium at the Rosen Shingle Creek Convention Center. They will compete on identical equipment on a system incorporating the most complicated series of live challenges yet, against an active “Red Team” opponent that will attempt to counter their defense strategies.
Using a commercial platform called CyberNEXS donated by SAIC, the competition replicates real life situations faced by computer administrators on a daily basis. The competitors faced a series of cyber attacks and their mission was to defend and maintain service on a virtualized network of computers representative of a typical commercial network.
The competition benefits greatly through the advice and assistance of Dr. Greg White of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), which also created and conducts the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Dr. White serves as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve in the field of cyber security.
Watch the website
www.AFA.org for announcements and developments as the first phase of the competition unfolds throughout November.
AFA Contact: Joel Hannahs 703.247.5847 or
The AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has more than 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 125,000 members. Visit AFA www.AFA.org.
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