Fun and Games with Security

The kids are all right. They're getting down and dirty with the realities of cybersecurity down in San Antonio. See the news release below. It looks like the focus of this competition is standard, enterprise level security (not that there's anything wrong with that). Who's up for putting to putting together a similar challenge to defend a process-industries plant? Could be fun.  UTSA CIAS HOSTS 3rd ANNUAL NATIONAL COLLEGIATE CYBER DEFENSE COMPETITION APRIL 18-20 IN SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio)- Texas A&M University looks to defend its National Champions title against five teams when the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) takes place April 18-20 at the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel.  The 3rd annual NCCDC is being hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio's Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), a nationally recognized leader in cybersecurity education and research. The CCDC program has grown from five participating schools in 2005 to 56 schools in 2008 with six regional competitions taking place nationwide.  The 2008 national competition features the 2007 defending champions, Texas A&M University, along with Baker College of Flint, Mich., the Community College of Baltimore County, Mt. San Antonio College of Los Angeles County, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Louisville.  The participants advanced to the National CCDC after winning regional competitions against opposing teams in the Southwest, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and West Coast Regions. The CCDC program is sponsored in part through donations from leading businesses in the communications and information technology industries.  The CCDC program is the first cyber defense competition allowing teams of full-time collegiate students from across the country to apply their information assurance and information technology education in a competitive environment.  While similar to other cyber defense competitions, CCDC competitions are unique because they focus on business operations and incorporate the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure.  The teams will inherit an "operational" network from a fictional business complete with email, websites, data files and users.  "We had many visiting faculty members benefit from last year's national competition as they experienced first-hand what it would be like to have to protect a company's infrastructure in a hostile Internet environment," said Greg White, director of UTSA's CIAS. "Some of the faculty even changed their instructional programs as a result of lessons learned from the competition."  Each team will be required to correct problems on their network, perform typical business tasks and defend their networks from a red team that generates live, hostile activity throughout the competition.  The teams will be scored on their performance in those three areas and the team with the highest score at the end of the competition will be the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Champion. Donated hardware and software from leaders in the IT industry is used during the competition to provide students with the opportunity to work with technologies they would never see in a typical classroom environment.  The National CCDC is being sponsored in part through donations and volunteer support from the AT&T Foundation (, Department of Homeland Security (, Cisco Systems (, Acronis (, Northrop Grumman (, Accenture (, the Information Systems Security Association (, Core Security (,  ThinkGeek (, Code Magazine (, and Pepsi (  For more information please visit or contact the CIAS at 210-458-2118 or via email at                   2008 National CCDC Schedule Friday, April 18 1-7:30 p.m.                         Day One Saturday, April 19 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.                  Day Two Sunday, April 20 9-11:30 a.m.                        Day Three 12:30-2:30 p.m.                   Formal Awards Luncheon UTSA'S CENTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE ASSURANCE AND SECURITY HISTORY AND FACT SHEET .   Established in 2001, UTSA's CIAS leverages San Antonio's infrastructure assurance strengths and bolsters research and educational initiatives in the field.  The multidisciplinary research center is a partnership between academia, the information technology security industry and the local Air Intelligence Agency.  CIAS addresses the technical and policy issues of information assurance and security and provides educational training. .   In 2002-2003, UTSA's CIAS led the highly successful Dark Screen cyber terrorism exercise for San Antonio bringing national attention as the first city in the nation to conduct a cyber security exercise. .   Over the last three years, UTSA's CIAS has been awarded more than $8 million through Defense Appropriations to support community Cybersecurity Defend and Attack Exercises and Infrastructure Assurance and Security Research. .   UTSA's CIAS personnel have conducted exercises for the various critical infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Centers as well as for states and communities around the nation .   In February 2008, UTSA CIAS personnel participated in the Department of Homeland Security's CyberStorm II National Cyber Security Exercise in Washington D.C.