Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

Greetings and Salutations! A lot has been going on throughout our first few weeks here at UAT, especially amongst the Network Security and Network Engineering students here! We are currently in our fourth week here with our Spring semester, of which we have already passed a few milestones, but one in particular corresponds to an event that we will be participating in within the next few months. Here at UAT, we participate in many events happening across the country, such as attending the conferences like Blackhat and Defcon, or other smaller events such as Root the Box down here in Tempe. However there are some more things that we are able to partake in, such as regional competitions and the like against other colleges around the western region. This event in particular is the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. It is at this competition that it invites 8 schools from around the western region encompassing Arizona, Nevada, and California, to participate in an event that spans the monitoring of networks and protection of systems. Of these 8 schools, we have once again placed within the top percentage and have been qualified to participate in the event! Unfortunately I cannot go into too much detail aside from what is readily available on their websites and public information, but below you can find the mission statement of this organization:

The mission of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) system is to provide institutions with an information assurance or computer security curriculum a controlled, competitive environment to assess their student’s depth of understanding and operational competency in managing the challenges inherent in protecting a corporate network infrastructure and business information systems.

CCDC competitions ask student teams to assume administrative and protective duties for an existing “commercial” network – typically a small company with 50+ users, 7 to 10 servers, and common Internet services such as a web server, mail server, and e-commerce site. Each team begins the competition with an identical set of hardware and software and is scored on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain availability of existing services such as mail servers and web servers, respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of additional services, and balance security needs against business needs. Throughout the competition an automated scoring engine is used to verify the functionality and availability of each team’s services on a periodic basis and traffic generators continuously feed simulated user traffic into the competition network. A volunteer red team provides the “external threat” all Internet-based services face and allows the teams to match their defensive skills against live opponents.

We will be working against the clock in a real time environment with seven other teams competing for the best service and protection of this simulated environment! You can find more information about the competition here:¬†http://www.wrccdc.org/ I’ll have more information as the competition grows closer, but it’s definitely something I’m extremely excited about in the weeks to come! -Nicholas “TAE”