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Next Generation of Cyber Defenders Spar at National Competition
Apr 19, 2013 (01:04 PM EDT)


SAN ANTONIO, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Students from 10 colleges across the nation will gather in San Antonio this weekend to spar for the Alamo Cup, awarded to the champions of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. The three-day national championship, hosted by the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security and now in its eighth year, is April 19-21 at the St. Anthony Hotel.

The practical competition, the only one of its type in the country for college students, is modeled from real scenarios and obstacles and serves as a training ground for future cyber defenders. Through the competition, challengers are given an opportunity to shine on a national stage and connect with the nation's top cyber security firms.

"Competitions are an excellent way for students to develop skills that compliment classroom-based education. CCDC events help students build technical skills and soft skills. These events teach them to work as part of a team under challenging circumstances. The CCDC helps to develop a better equipped cyber workforce which is one of the reasons it has become such a fertile recruiting ground for both government and industry," said Dwayne Williams, director of the NCCDC.

This year's championship competitors include:

  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks, At-Large Regional CCDC Winner
  • Millersville University (Penn.), Mid-Atlantic Regional Winner
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.), Mid-West Regional Winner
  • Dakota State University (S.D.), North Central Regional Winner
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Northeast Regional Winner
  • University of Washington, Pacific Rim Regional Winner
  • United States Air Force Academy, Rocky Mountain Regional Winner
  • University of Central Florida, Southeast Regional Winner
  • Oklahoma State University, Southwest Regional Winner
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Western Regional CCDC Winner

The NCCDC is designed to test how well students operate and manage a network infrastructure, similar to the networks found in the commercial sector. At the start of the competition, each team will inherit an "operational" network from a fictional business that includes e-mail, websites, data files and users. The competitors are given minimal information about the network, its security levels and its software. After familiarizing themselves with their networks for a few frantic minutes, a live Red Team starts actively scanning and probing their companies.

Scoring is determined by how well the teams keep up with the operational needs of their businesses and their user demands while maintaining service level agreements for all critical Internet services. Teams accumulate points by successfully completing business tasks and maintaining services. They lose points by violating service level agreements, recovery and restoration usage services, and when the Red Team successfully penetrates their network. At the end of the competition, the team with the highest score is named the national champion.

About UTSA
The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the largest of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA serves nearly 31,000 students in more than 135 degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy and Sciences as well as University College, the Honors College and the Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond. Learn more at www.utsa.edu.

SOURCE The University of Texas at San Antonio