Former CIO of DHS, Luke McCormack, Recognizes Winning Team
Cedar City, UT, July 14, 2017 – This morning, a number of the nation’s rising cybersecurity talent competed in the annual U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) Capture-the-Flag (CTF) competition at Southern Utah University (SUU) in Cedar City, UT. They battled as teams for four hours, doing their best to hack into systems and answer trivia questions. In the end, Team Four proved the winner with teammates Nathan Coats, Zach Cutler, Ronnie Miller, and Jason Waits.
The competition was the final activity from this week’s U.S. Cyber Challenge Western Regional Cyber Camp where pre-qualified participants developed their cybersecurity skills further through intensive instruction and hands-on labs on topics including penetration testing and packet crafting. The week also included an executive roundtable, ethics panel, and resume workshop. Today’s Capture-the-Flag competition was designed by Michigan Cyber Range (MCR), a project by Merit Network, and specifically tested the campers on what they learned this week at the camp.
An award ceremony immediately followed the CTF competition. The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Former CIO of the Department of Homeland Security, Luke McCormack.
As McCormack addressed the camp participants, he highlighted both the need for talent and patriotic satisfaction in working for the federal government. “Cybersecurity is one of the only position areas in the federal government where they can direct hire, and they have recently been able to adjust pay to be more competitive with private industry,” stated McCormack. “Some of the things you’ll be able to do working for the government, you’ll never be able to do working anywhere else. The power that you have in your hands is daunting. Don’t forget the power and capability you have and that you’re the first line of defense. Everyone is counting on you.”
Other ceremony speakers included Department Chair of the Computer Science and Information Systems Department at SUU, Dr. Rob Robertson, and Founder and National Director of USCC, Karen S. Evans.
Camp participants were invited to the USCC program if they achieved a competitive score in April’s online Cyber Quest qualifying competition. Although each of them were invited based upon their individual abilities, one of the program’s goals is to coach them in team skills that will be a major strength in the workplace.
The Western Regional camp is supported in part through partnerships with Amazon Web Services, the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM), Adaptive Cyber, Cambridge Global, Center for Cyber Safety & Education, CenturyLink, Cyber Ninjas, Cyber Vista, Defense Point Security LLC, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal CIO Council, (ISC)2, Monster Government Solutions, NIC, PCMG, Procession Systems, Queen Associates, SANS Institute, and Sherman Consulting. Local sponsors include Imperva, Nuix, Net Force and Reliaquest.
The 2017 Cyber Summer Camp Series features three week-long camps located in Delaware, Illinois and Utah. The camps are an integral part of the USCC mission to identify and develop cybersecurity talent in order to reduce the nation’s cybersecurity workforce gap. Participants are encouraged to continue developing their skills and network with like-minded individuals by becoming active members in CyberCompEx.org, an online community specifically geared toward cybersecurity enthusiasts.
For more information about the Cyber Camp program and each of the specific camps, visit U.S. Cyber Challenge online at www.uscyberchallenge.org
Contact: Katie Hanson
About U.S. Cyber Challenge:
U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is a program supported by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate through a contract with 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.
Visit Us Online: www.uscyberchallenge.org