The Clearfield High School's AFJROTC Cyber Patriot team won first place at Utah's first annual Cyber Symposium Challenge in June. Beating out several college and professional teams.
The group participated in the Air Force Association's Cyber Patriot competition. After having placed multiple times they were looking for more competitions to enter. That is when they stumbled upon the Cyber Symposium Challenge.
"The competition was only for businesses and colleges but we contacted them and they were more than happy to allow a high school group to compete," said Maj. Kit Workman, Clearfield High School Air Force Junior ROTC Senior Aerospace Instructor.
The first round of the competition was conducted online. Teams' cyber defense skills were tested by protecting their network from hacker attacks, maintaining critical services and their communications. The top teams then progressed to the live competition.
The live, four hour long competition consisted of teams monitoring networks while trying to protect the networks from being hacked and was more intense than the first round.
After practicing year round and hoping just to be able to place in the competition, the team was ecstatic when they won first place. They were awarded $2,000 in programs, classes and tests to attain their network certification.
"They practice on their own time after school," said Workman. "It's really exciting to see them in a new round of competitions."
Along with the money they were also granted the right to participate in the 2012 Cyber Lympics, an international competition that focuses on forensics, hacking and network defense. The high school competition consists of three rounds; the first two are qualifying rounds. The finals consist of one team from each continent. The first round begins July 31.
"We are hoping by us competing in these competitions that it will be the first step to schools in Utah to start getting involved," said Workman. "We are hoping to have a high school division in the Utah Cyber Symposium Challenge."
In today's computer culture it is becoming more important to protect companies and personal computers against hackers trying to steal information.
"Every day you hear on the news about companies and the government being hacked. It's a major concern for the future. The military has determined it as the fifth dimension of warfare," said Workman.
For students who think they might be interested in joining the team Workman suggests anyone interested in computers, someone who likes to think outside the box and can think multi-dimensionally would do great.
For more information about the Air Force Cyber Patriot program visit: www.uscyberpatriot.org.
For more information about the Cyber Symposium Challenge visit: http://www.fbcinc.com/e/ucdc/.
For more information about the Cyber Lympics Challenge visit: http://www.cyberlympics.org/.