ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's largest and fastest-growing high school cyber defense challenge has now drawn in more than 661 teams as registration closes. CyberPatriot is providing an exclusive opportunity for students to learn about cybersecurity and to win college scholarship money and an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C.
CyberPatriot is a unique national cybersecurity competition produced by the Air Force Association (AFA), a nonprofit organization headquartered near Washington, D.C. Its structure provides students hands-on learning about the cybersecurity field while competing virtually against their peers.
Forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Japan, Korea and Guam are represented in this year's two-track competition. Public, private, parochial and home schools are registered in the Open Division, while Junior ROTC units of all Services and Civil Air Patrol squadrons have filled the All-Service Division.
"CyberPatriot was designed to expose students to the fascinating field of cybersecurity in a fun environment and motivate them to consider becoming the cyber defenders our nation needs," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. "Many educators have recently learned about this great opportunity for their students, so we are ecstatic to have this number of registered schools in the competition."
Teams are now preparing for the preliminaries, which begin October 23, via the competition's practice rounds where they learn to defend computer networks from realistic computer threat scenarios. Once the preliminaries begin, hundreds of teams compete online to solve vulnerabilities in their networks. The top teams 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.
"With our generous sponsors and a record number of teams registered, this year's CyberPatriot competition is guaranteed to produce incredibly exciting months to come," Skoch said.
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.
SOURCE Air Force Association