(April 22, 2013) -- Rochester Institute of Technology took home the Alamo Cup last weekend at the eighth annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), April 19-21 at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio. Organized by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the NCCDC pitted teams of full-time college students from across the country against each other in an environment where cyber security skills were pushed to the limit.
Dakota State University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology also made strong showings at the competition, placing second and third, respectively.
"We developed the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition to raise awareness among college students of the need for more cyber security professionals and to get them to starting thinking of cyber security as a possible career path," said Dwayne Williams, NCCDC director. "In just eight years, the competition has become a recruiting ground for companies who want to hire the best talent colleges have to offer. Past competitors have collectively received thousands of job offers."
Modeled from real-world scenarios and obstacles, the CCDC is the first cyber security competition designed to test how well students operate and manage a network infrastructure, similar to the networks found in the commercial sector. At the start of the competition on Friday, each eight-person team inherited a mock operational network for a fictional correctional institute, complete with prisoner commissary for retail e-commerce, personnel records and jail management software.
Competitors were given minimal information about the network, its security levels and its software. Minutes later, a live Red Team began to actively scan and probe the team's networks. An Orange Team composed of fictional employees, clients and customers contributed new stress to the teams as they struggled to maintain services.
Over the course of the three-day competition, the teams were required to keep up with the operational needs of their jail and their user demands, while maintaining service-level agreements for all of their critical Internet services. When they successfully completed business tasks and maintained services, they earned points.
When they violated service-level agreements, used recovery and restoration usage services, or when the Red Team successfully penetrated their network, they lost points. At the end of the competition, the Rochester Institute of Technology had earned the highest score and the right to take home the coveted Alamo Cup.
In all, 10 teams won their state and/or regional competitions to earn a spot in this year's national championship. Competitors included:
Sponsors of the NCCDC recognize the importance of supporting this type of educational competition. Platinum sponsors included the Department of Homeland Security –Science and Technology, Splunk and Walmart.
"As a first-time attendee at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, I was as impressed with the quality of the event as I was with the talent level of the competitors," said Jerry Geisler, senior director of Walmart security and compliance. "The competitors were exceptional and represented their schools very well. It was a privilege to participate in this year's event and observe the bright minds of these young security practitioners as they competed in these real-life scenarios."
National Level sponsors included the United States Army INSCOM and the Navy's Information Dominance systems command, SPAWAR. Gold sponsors included Juniper Networks, Boeing, Deloitte and McAfee. Silver sponsors include the Air Force Reserve, CORE Security, Goldman Sachs, Trustwave, Trustwave SpiderLabs and NSS Labs.
Other sponsors included BlackBerry, Microsoft, Citrix, Symantec, CobaltStrike, Radiant Logic, OWASP, BridgePoint, Queralt, Lieberman Software, Wolfram Research, University of Washington-Bothell, AFCEA Alamo Chapter, Cyber Defense magazine and CODE magazine.
The threat of cyber attacks targeting the United States is a serious issue at the highest levels of government. The NCCDC provides higher education institutions with information assurance and computer security programs in a competitive environment.
"San Antonio boasts one of our nation's largest military contingents," said Gregory White, CIAS director. "Students who participate in these kinds of competitions are at the forefront of the war on terror. Cyber terrorism is very real. Each day, our federal government and commercial sectors are at risk. Our competition provides the necessary foundation for students to implement what they've learned to serve a higher calling as key defenders against cyber terrorism and maintain the security of our networks."
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.