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Cyber Defense Exercise

Naval Academy wins NSA cyber challenge

For four days in mid-April, teams from service academies in the United States and Canada competed in the 15th annual Cyber Defense Exercise – a contest in which cadets design and build computer networks and then and defend them against intrusions by the National Security Agency and Canada's Central Security Services. When the April 13-17 exercise was complete, the U.S. Naval Academy emerged as the winner, capturing its third trophy since the contest began in 2001.

The other teams hailed from the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Military Academy and the Royal Military College of Canada. NSA's Information Assurance Directorate sponsored the event, which was hosted by the Parsons Group, a technology engineering services firm.

The exercise ran on a virtual private network to prevent any interference with real, working networks. Cybersecurity specialists graded teams’ ability to “effectively maintain network services while detecting, responding to and recovering from network security intrusions or compromises.”

"CDX is a competition singular in its scope, its execution and in training opportunities," the NSA's Alex Gates said in an announcement of the Naval Academy's win. The students "are able to put theory into practice. CDX provides insights and awareness that simply can't be obtained from traditional classroom instruction."

Posted by Mark Pomerleau on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:13 AM


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