Wednesday, October 6, 2010

National Youth CyberPatriot Competition Draws in 575-plus Teams

/PRNewswire/ -- With just two days left before registration closes, CyberPatriot has more than 575 teams registered. This premier competition is the nation's largest and fastest-growing high school cyber defense challenge and is attracting educators across the country.

CyberPatriot is the one-of-a-kind national cyber security competition produced by the Air Force Association (AFA), a nonprofit organization headquartered near Washington, D.C. Its unique structure provides students hands-on learning while competing virtually against their peers. It also allows students to learn first hand about the cyber security field and introduce many to the idea of cyber security as a profession.

Forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Japan and Korea are represented in this year's competition. Only Montana and Wyoming have yet to join.

Teams have registered from public, private, parochial and home schools in many states in the competition's Open Division. Additionally, Junior ROTC units of all Services and Civil Air Patrol squadrons are rapidly filling the All-Service Division in the two-track competition.

Teams of five, with an approved coach (usually a teacher), learn to defend computer networks from real-life computer threat scenarios. In the preliminaries, hundreds of teams compete online using software provided by CyberPatriot to competitively solve vulnerabilities in a network. The top teams then compete again in a series of online rounds to determine the finalists for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and the Championship Round at the Gaylord National Convention Center in April 2011.

"CyberPatriot gives young people an inside look at an exciting field that will be an important career path," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. "Our competition is a great venue to educate high school students on cybersecurity through a competition that's also a lot of fun."

Coaches can learn more about CyberPatriot and sign up at www.uscyberpatriot.org. Information is also available from the CyberPatriot staff at info@uscyberpatriot.org.

CyberPatriot is presented by Northrop Grumman, with founding partners SAIC and the CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

The AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members.

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