Illinois CIO Presents Awards to Winners of U.S. Cyber Challenge Competition

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Illinois CIO Presents Awards to Winners of U.S. Cyber Challenge Competition

Chicago, IL, June 25, 2016 – Yesterday, a selected group of the nation’s top cybersecurity talent competed in the US Cyber Challenge (USCC) virtual “Capture the Flag” competition as their week-long camp program came to a close at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois. The final winners of the competition were John Lohrentz, Wendy Edwards, and Michael Baccia. These winners were awarded a scholarship from (ISC)2 for their achievement.

The awards ceremony included remarks from the State of Illinois’ Chief Information Officer Hardik Bhatt (on behalf of Governor Rauner), Director of CSSIA Dr. John Sands, Moraine Valley Community College Vice President Dr. Pamela Haney, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, and U.S. Cyber Challenge National Director Karen S. Evans.

“The Governor understands the power of technology and that’s why he’s given us so much freedom to start transforming the way the State operates and interacts with it’s customers,” stated Director Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer for the State of Illinois, as he addressed the participants. “Thank you for bringing this program to Illinois and please keep bringing it to Illinois. We are still building our team and however you’d like to help us, or advise us, make sure that we are safe and secure, I’d be more than happy to hear from you.”

Throughout the week, participants received in-depth classroom instruction from experts in the cybersecurity field on topics including packet crafting and penetration testing. Each of the campers were vetted through an online competition, called Cyber Quests. Hundreds of individuals participated in Cyber Quests across the country and the top performers were invited to attend one of the three USCC camps this summer.

This year, the Capture the Flag competition was developed by Michigan-based company Merit.

The camp is supported in part through partnerships with the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, NIC, the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM), SANS Institute, Department of Homeland Security, the Federal CIO Council, Cyber Ninjas, Workday, Amazon Web Services, Monster Government Solutions, CenturyLink, AT&T, and PCM-G.

For more information about the Cyber Camp program and each of the specific camps, visit U.S. Cyber Challenge online at


About U.S. Cyber Challenge:

U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is a program of the Center for Internet Security, a 501(c)3 organization, and has the mission to significantly reduce the shortage in the cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. USCC’s goal is to find 10,000 of America’s best and brightest to fill the ranks of cybersecurity professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.

By | 2016-06-25T11:56:37-04:00 June 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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