March 27, 2018
On Saturday, March 17, the Atlantic Council’s sixth annual Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge in Washington, DC, concluded with the Air Force Cyber College’s “Team Fightin’ Electrons” winning first place.

The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge is a one-of-a-kind competition designed to provide students across academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber crisis and conflict. Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, it challenges teams to respond to a realistic, evolving cyberattack and analyze the threat it poses to national, international, and private sector interests. The 2018 competition was held on March 16-17 at American University’s School of International Service (SIS), and featured over 150 students from fifteen states across the United States. Student teams competed to offer their best national-security policy recommendations for combating evolving fictional cyber crisis scenarios. This year’s scenario featured the risk of vulnerabilities in blockchain technologies for US national security.

Coming in second and third place are “Team CERF” (National Defense University) and “Team Black Knights” (WestPoint – United States Military Academy), respectively. Team “the Fire Eyes of Texas” from University of Texas, Austin, won the Most Engaged Award at the competition. The final round judges were Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and CTO at CrowdStrike; John Costello, senior advisor at the Department of Homeland Security; R. David Edelman, director of the Project on Technology, Economy, and National Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Emily Frye, director of national protection and resilience at MITRE; Sean Kanuck, director of cyber, space, and future conflict at the International Institute for Strategic Studies; and Michelle Korver, digital currency counsel at the US Department of Justice.

Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge Second Place Winners

The competition was made possible through the generous support of MITRE Corporation, NATO, Baker & McKenzie. CyberVista awarded free Security+ training courses for the first-place winners as well as discounted Security+ for all competitors. Baker & McKenzie LLP hosted an evening reception and awards ceremony, featuring keynote remarks from Rob Joyce, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator at the National Security Council, and Dmitri Alperovitch.

The competition was preceded by the first-ever Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge in London, UK on February 26-27. The inaugural London competition featured thirteen student teams from 14 UK universities and two professional teams from the Ministry of Defence, the National Cyber Crime Unit and Europol. Supporting the London Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge were British Telecom, CNC-Communications, Lloyds Banking Group, Nominet and the UK Government. Following the event in Washington, DC, the competition will also take place in Geneva, Switzerland on April 5-6 with twenty-three teams from the US and Europe and the support of Microsoft and NATO. Visit http://atlanticcouncil.org/cyber912 for more information on the upcoming competitions.

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