Air Force Academy wins NSA Cyber Defense Competition

JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,259 Admin
The U.S. Air Force Academy won the 6th Annual NSA Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), conducted 10-14 April, 2006. The NSA played the attackers and students from several U.S. military academies were the defending teams. The teams were given software with known vulnerabilities to analyze, harden, use to create a secure network, and defend against attacks from the NSA team. In 2nd place was the team from West Point, and in 3rd place was last year's winner, the U.S. Naval Academy.

I really like this quote:

"I believe one reason behind our success was a focus on fundamental security principles, rather than specific tools," said Capt. Sean Butler, computer science instructor and officer-in-charge of the Academy's cadet cyber defense team. "While using advanced information security tools and techniques might buy you a little bit of an advantage at the margins, I suspect it probably costs you even more in added complexity, given inexperienced administrators. It's very difficult to defend a network that you don't fully understand, so our cadets spent a lot of effort making sure they all had at least a basic familiarity with all the components of our network and how they fit together. The cadets' eventual network design was a very classic, textbook secure network layout without a lot of frills, and it was obviously quite effective."


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