U.S. Cyber Challenge Calling All Future Cyber Defenders to Compete!

Apr 05, 2012, 14:40 ET from SANS Institute

Launch of National Online Cyber Quest Contest to Qualify for Invitation to Cyber Camps This Summer

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho, April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Board of Information Security Examiners, through the U.S. Cyber Challenge Initiative, today announced its Cyber Quest competition, a fun and challenging online contest open to high school and college students who will compete against their peers across the country for an invitation to one of several Cyber Camps being offered this summer. Registration opened April 4th at www.USCC.CyberQuests.org.

The Cyber Quest competition features a series of quiz questions based on analysis of a packet capture file which participants will analyze on their own machines, looking for signs of attack and other activity. Participants will have 24 hours from the time they begin the quiz to complete it.  Winners will be determined based on who achieves the highest score in the shortest amount of time.

Winners of the Cyber Quest, who are 18 years or older and reside in or go to school in one of the Cyber Camp participating states will then be eligible to attend one of four week-long Cyber Camps being offered across the country in June and August. State-specific camps are being offered in Southern California and Delaware, while regional camps will take place in Northern Virginia and California (Bay area). 

The camps will feature one week of specialized sessions by college faculty, SANS Institute senior instructors and cyber security experts, capped off by a live competition and awards ceremony on the last day.  In addition to providing expert training for participants to improve their skills and marketability, the Cyber Camps will also provide students the opportunity to engage with major technology companies and government agencies at onsite job fairs for scholarship, internship and employment opportunities.

"We encourage students from across the country to register for the Cyber Quest competition and take the challenge to vie for an invitation to one of the Cyber Camps. It's an exciting time for students to participate – especially with the explosive growth in the cyber security industry," said Karen Evans, USCC National Director. "The tremendous knowledge sharing, expert training, and career opportunities presented at the camps is invaluable to helping develop our youth into the next generation cyber security workforce."   

"Our government and U.S. commercial companies are being besieged by attempted cyber attacks every day, and the nation needs as many resources as possible to prevent damage and the theft of intellectual capital. The U.S. Cyber Challenge offers a unique and exciting platform to identify the talent we need to defend our nation," stated Hon. Mike McConnell former Director of National Security and Vice Chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton.

"The Cyber Quest competition and Cyber Camps are critical as our nation continually undergoes fast-paced changes in technology.  Our growing reliance on digital technology requires concentrated efforts, like these, to identify and best develop the next generation of highly skilled cyber security professionals," said Michael Assante, President & CEO National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE).

Cyber Quest is one of several initiatives underway through USCC, a national public-private partnership focused on identifying and developing cyber security talent to meet the country's critical cyber security workforce needs.  Cyber Quest is supported in part through sponsorships with Juniper, Avue Technologies, Safegov.org and partnerships with SANS Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cal Poly Pomona, San Jose State University, Delaware Tech, the University of Delaware, and Virginia Tech. 

For information about becoming a sponsor of a Cyber Camp, contact Karen S. Evans, National Director at kevans@uscyberchallenge.org.

About U.S. Cyber Challenge:
The mission of the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is to significantly reduce the shortage in the cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cyber security professionals.

USCC's goal is to find 10,000 of America's best and brightest to fill the ranks of cyber security professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.

Visit Us Online: www.uscyberchallenge.org

About the National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE):
The mission of the National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE) is to increase the security of information networks, computing systems, and industrial and military technology by improving the potential and performance of the cyber security workforce.

Visit Us Online: www.nbise.org