Cyber Patriots Compete in Semifinal Trial

For the past three years, Lincoln Laboratory has sponsored a high school defensive computer security team that competes in the U.S. Cyber Patriot competition. For the first two years, the Laboratory mentored a single team called "DoNut Hack Us," and its top five team members competed at the nationwide finals each year. 

At the end of 2013, four of the five team members graduated. Recruiting efforts for this year were successful, resulting in three teams.  Continuing the donut theme, the new teams are called "Pink Sprinkles," "Boston Crème," and "Apple Cinnamon," and are led by returning members Akshitha Ramachandran, Alexander Wei, and Arthur Arakelyan. This year Kevin Bauer and Robert Cunningham, both of the Cyber Systems & Technology Group at Lincoln Laboratory, served as mentors, drawing on expertise across the Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division as well as the Communication Systems Division. Chiamaka Agbasi-Porter of the Communications and Community Outreach Office served as coach.

2014 Cyber Patiriot teamsThe three combined Laboratory teams, along with coach Chiamaka Agbasi-Porter and Robert Cunningham (back row, on the left), Kevin Bauer (back row on the right) after a six-hour competition.

The six-hour semifinal competition required each five-member team to secure a Windows 8 client, a Windows 2008 server, and a Ubuntu Linux 12.4 computer.  In addition, the teams had to complete a digital forensics challenge and a networking challenge.  Every minute of the six hours was filled with team members cleaning up systems, rooting out malware, and establishing a secure environment.  

Robert Cunningham said, "I'm proud to say that the Cyber Patriot teams wrapped up their bid to return to the national competition by reaching 29th, 20th and 16th place in the nation, by scoring 228.75, 251.85, and 257.2 points respectively out of 300 points."  A total of 265 points were needed to qualify for the finals in Washington, D.C.—so the Laboratory teams were very close to returning, even though this was a rebuilding and expanding year. "These rookie team members learned a lot and they look forward to increasing their skills and attending the finals competition next year," said Agbasi-Porter.



Posted July 2014

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