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 and middle 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 33 students compete in CyberPatriot XV. In all, over 5,000 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.
Please join me in congratulating the following teams who received MA State Awards and Tier Awards in their respective tiers:
3rd Place State Award – Platinum Tier – Team Blue #15-1593 consisting of Rajat Baldawa, Simon Beyzerov, Daniel Kaminski, Ryan Mechery, Sashank Tadimeti, Aaron Tian
3rd Place Tier Award – Gold Tier – Team Yellow #15-1587 consisting of Tarun Eswar, Vaishnavi Harish, Shuling Lin, Thomas Park, Donovan Sappet
We hope you all had a great CyberPatriot season, and enjoyed working together learning more about Cybersecurity.