CyberPatriot

Ages:Middle School, High School

Type:Performance

Categories:Coding & Computer Science, STEM

Scope:National

This competition has not yet posted any deadlines.

CyberPatriot the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. ​
At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services.  Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.​

All rounds of competition in CyberPatriot, with the exception of the National Finals Competition, take place online. Teams may compete from any location; many participate at their school, organization, or public library. Competitions​​ take place on specified weekends​ throughout the school year. Teams must complete all their work during one (1) ​​six consecutive-hour period on the Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of these competition windows. They may only have one instance of an image open at a time.

Before Each Round:

  • ​​​​​​Train: Teams should start training for the competition as soon as they can before the first round. Updated training materials are on the dashboard that Coaches and Mentors see upon signing into the website. These training materials are a great place to start, but they do not cover everything. Teams should rely on their Technical Mentors to receive more advanced training. Archived training materials are available​ on the public side of the website.
  • PrepareAll teams should make sure that they have the hardware, software, and network capabilities​ required to compete successfully. As the goal of the program is to have as many teams as possible competing, technical requirements are kept to a minimum.
  • Download​​: About a week before the competition begins, the CyberPatriot Program Office sends an email with round instructions and links to download the virtual machine images (operating systems that can be played on top of other operating systems). These files are very large and should be downloaded and well before a team is ready to compete. Teams also verify that their download was successful before the round begins. There are usually two or three images per round.​​​

During the Round:

  • Extract​: In the morning of the Friday of the competition weekend, teams receive an email with the password to extract the virtual machine images from their downloads. After doing so, they can load the images in VMware Player and begin competing.
  • Identify​: When the images are opened, teams are prompted to enter a Team ID. This is a ten-digit alphanumeric code that is assigned to teams and delivered to them along with the extraction password.
  • FixThe goal of every CyberPatriot competition is to find and fix vulnerabilities in their images. These images range from simple (e.g. giving users strong passwords) to much more complex. Some rounds also include networking challenges in the form of quizzes and Cisco Packet Tracer activities. Teams can also gain points by answering questions about their actions on the image.​
  • Score​:​ ​When teams fix a vulnerability that is being checked, they receive points. If they take an action that makes a system less secure, they lose points. Teams can also gain points by answering forensics questions about actions they took to solve their vulnerabilities. Teams can checked their progress on their score report page.
  • CompareA live scoreboard is available for teams to see how they stack up against others in the country. These scores are unofficial and undergo review by CyberPatriot staff following the competition.​​
  • Ask:​ CyberPatriot staff is available to answer technical support questions during the round by chat and by phone at 877-885-5716 during peak competition hours. Instructions for accessing the tech support chat are sent to teams at the beginning of each round. Teams may not ask questions about vulnerabilities during the technical chats.
After The Round:
  • ​​Delete: All virtual machine images should be deleted after the round is over to maintain the integrity of the competition.
  • Wait​CyberPatriot staff reviews all the scores following the competition and releases official scores and standings to teams within a week after the round is over.

Teams are score in each round based on how well the secured each image they were given. Teams advance to the national finals based on these scores.
This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Website: http://www.uscyberpatriot.org/

Managing Organization: Air Force Association

Contact:

info@uscyberpatriot.org
877-885-5716

Entry Fee: $0

This competition is open to students in Middle School, High School.

This competition has not yet posted any deadlines.

Overview

CyberPatriot the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. ​
At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services.  Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.​

Process

All rounds of competition in CyberPatriot, with the exception of the National Finals Competition, take place online. Teams may compete from any location; many participate at their school, organization, or public library. Competitions​​ take place on specified weekends​ throughout the school year. Teams must complete all their work during one (1) ​​six consecutive-hour period on the Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of these competition windows. They may only have one instance of an image open at a time.

Before Each Round:

  • ​​​​​​Train: Teams should start training for the competition as soon as they can before the first round. Updated training materials are on the dashboard that Coaches and Mentors see upon signing into the website. These training materials are a great place to start, but they do not cover everything. Teams should rely on their Technical Mentors to receive more advanced training. Archived training materials are available​ on the public side of the website.
  • PrepareAll teams should make sure that they have the hardware, software, and network capabilities​ required to compete successfully. As the goal of the program is to have as many teams as possible competing, technical requirements are kept to a minimum.
  • Download​​: About a week before the competition begins, the CyberPatriot Program Office sends an email with round instructions and links to download the virtual machine images (operating systems that can be played on top of other operating systems). These files are very large and should be downloaded and well before a team is ready to compete. Teams also verify that their download was successful before the round begins. There are usually two or three images per round.​​​

During the Round:

  • Extract​: In the morning of the Friday of the competition weekend, teams receive an email with the password to extract the virtual machine images from their downloads. After doing so, they can load the images in VMware Player and begin competing.
  • Identify​: When the images are opened, teams are prompted to enter a Team ID. This is a ten-digit alphanumeric code that is assigned to teams and delivered to them along with the extraction password.
  • FixThe goal of every CyberPatriot competition is to find and fix vulnerabilities in their images. These images range from simple (e.g. giving users strong passwords) to much more complex. Some rounds also include networking challenges in the form of quizzes and Cisco Packet Tracer activities. Teams can also gain points by answering questions about their actions on the image.​
  • Score​:​ ​When teams fix a vulnerability that is being checked, they receive points. If they take an action that makes a system less secure, they lose points. Teams can also gain points by answering forensics questions about actions they took to solve their vulnerabilities. Teams can checked their progress on their score report page.
  • CompareA live scoreboard is available for teams to see how they stack up against others in the country. These scores are unofficial and undergo review by CyberPatriot staff following the competition.​​
  • Ask:​ CyberPatriot staff is available to answer technical support questions during the round by chat and by phone at 877-885-5716 during peak competition hours. Instructions for accessing the tech support chat are sent to teams at the beginning of each round. Teams may not ask questions about vulnerabilities during the technical chats.
After The Round:
  • ​​Delete: All virtual machine images should be deleted after the round is over to maintain the integrity of the competition.
  • Wait​CyberPatriot staff reviews all the scores following the competition and releases official scores and standings to teams within a week after the round is over.

Criteria

Teams are score in each round based on how well the secured each image they were given. Teams advance to the national finals based on these scores.

Awards

This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Participate

Website: http://www.uscyberpatriot.org/

Managing Organization: Air Force Association

Contact:

info@uscyberpatriot.org
877-885-5716

Entry Fee: $0

This competition is open to students in Middle School, High School.

Deadlines

This competition has not yet posted any deadlines.