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In Fairfax County, the Classroom Is a (cyber) Battlefield

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students in the CyberPatriot competition

Students take part in the CyberPatriot competition at Chantilly High School in Virginia.

Credit: The Washington Post

Thousands of students across the U.S. recently participated in the opening round of the CyberPatriot challenge, the premier high school cyberwarfare competition. The event focuses mainly on defending networks, putting teams through reconnaissance missions of probing a network firewall for weaknesses and other hidden vulnerabilities in a system, deleting files, and adding password protections.

A second round will be held before the semifinals in January, and the finals will be in mid-March. The winning teams will receive thousands of dollars in scholarship money.

Since its launch in 2009, CyberPatriot has grown in popularity among teenagers who are interested in pursuing careers in computer science. "There's an enormous appetite for what we're offering here," says Bernard Skoch, a retired Air Force brigadier general and commissioner of the CyberPatriot event. "People don't realize cybersecurity is a national imperative. We can't find enough people to fill all of the cybersecurity jobs."

Northrop Grumman's Diane Miller notes the contest concentrates mainly on network defense rather than intrusion.

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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