April 29, 2009

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USMA takes first place in cyber defense exercise

WEST POINT – The National Security Agency announced that West Point cadets successfully defended their title to win their third straight Cyber Defense Exercise. 

The exercise was held April 21-24 against the four other service academies and is designed to teach students how to protect and defend the nation’s information systems.

Established in 2001 by West Point in collaboration and support from the National Security Agency the exercise challenges each team to design, build and configure a real-world computer network and simulates a deployed joint service command.  A network attack team, composed of NSA and Department of Defense personnel, then identifies the vulnerabilities and launches attacks on each network over a four-day period.

“Our cadets are exposed to Information Assurance concepts throughout their 47-month experience at West Point.  The Cyber Defense Exercise allows them to apply their knowledge and experience in a competitive environment,” said Col. Joe Adams, U.S. Military Academy’s Information Assurance Professor and CDX coach.

Cadets actively defended their networks against the NSA in an effort to keep systems on-line and available.  Each team was evaluated on their ability to maintain services, as well as efforts to prevent and recover from security breaches and provide forensic analysis of compromised systems.

West Point has won this event five times since its inception in 2001, “this is an unprecedented success and is a tribute to the cadets’ hard work” said Adams. 

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