(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."
For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.
Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.
Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.
All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.
As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus
Biomedical engineering alum and professor is working to regenerate tissue
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