CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other STEM disciplines. At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six hour period. Students need to utilize their knowledge of networking, switches, routers, firewalls, TCP/IP protocols and architecture, and administration of various operating systems. They have to determine whether there are unauthorized users getting into the network, whether their passwords are strong enough or whether the firewall has holes in it. For every problem they identify and fix, points are awarded; however, points are deducted if there is a disruption to required services.
This season, Mass Academy had 30 students compete in CyberPatriot XIII. In all, over 4,800 teams registered to compete. All teams excelled in the competition rounds, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. We were very impressed with the determination and persistence that all students showed uncovering and fixing vulnerabilities. All teams did a great job working together and putting in their best efforts, despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic.
Please join me in congratulating the following Mass Academy teams who received MA State Awards and Tier Awards in their respective tiers:
2nd Place State Award – Platinum Tier – Team Blue #13-3821 consisting of Ian Grzembski, Darshan Krishnaswamy, Alec Miller, Alexander Sun, Andrew Yang, and Akhilesh Yarlagadda
2nd Place Tier Award – Gold Tier – Team Orange #13-3818 consisting of Annalisa Allan, Hazelyn Aroian, William Babincsak, Ryan Dillon, Anaya Kaul, and Amrita Thirumalai
3rd Place Tier Award – Gold Tier – Team Green #13-3820 consisting of Ronit Avadhuta, Jon Cili, Andrew Lee, Shreya Majumdar, Katy Stuparu, and Ansh Tripathi
We hope you all had a great CyberPatriot season, and enjoyed working together learning more about Cybersecurity.