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Air Force Association Names 28 Finalist Teams in Cyber Defense Competition

The Air Force Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting "public understanding of aerospace power and national defense," has named 28 high school student teams selected to advance to the CyberPatriot V National Finals Competition, a national cyber defense contest. Advancing schools are located in Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.

The competition, which is intended to urge students to venture into careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, drew 1,200 applications from all 50 states, and United States Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Canada, the Pacific, and Europe. The contest provided options for two tracks: The Open Division is for public, private, parochial, and home school teams, and the All Service Division is for Junior ROTC, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps squadrons, and Civil Air Patrol squadrons.

The open division teams that will be advancing include:

Service teams earning advancement include:

For all three rounds of the competition, students had to find vulnerabilities to Windows or GNU/Linux operating systems on one to three virtual machines. The teams that found the most vulnerabilities advanced to the next round. CyberPatriot V held its semifinal round January 11-12, at which participating teams were tasked with strengthening computer networks to prevent them from being attacked by viruses, and other threats.

Advancing teams will attend the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition in the nation's capital March 14-16. The contest will use SAIC's CyberNEXS cyber training and exercise model, and Cisco will host a networking event at which teams will be evaluated on "their ability to operate and secure a basic network."

Pre-registration is available now for the 2014 CyberPatriot VI contest at

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.