By Daniel Terdiman
April 22, 2010
If you're the kind of person who worries about the security of computer
networks, you should know that the National Security Agency is worrying
about it too.
Since Tuesday, the NSA has been conducting its 10th annual Cyber Defense
Exercise, a competition that pits students from a series of military
academies against each other--and against the competition's leaders at
NSA -- in a bid to see who has the best cyberdefense skills. The idea?
To "build and defend computer networks against simulated intrusions by
the National Security Agency/Central Security Services Red Team."
The competition will last until Friday when that Red team, or "red
cell," as it's known, will cease its attacks on the students'
newly-built networks. The goal is to help the students learn about the
topic of Information Assurance, and how it is used to protect the most
vital information systems in the United States and Canada. As they work,
the students must defend their networks and offer up consistent reports
on what they're doing and on the attacks they're identifying.
This year, eight academies are competing: the United States Military
Academy (West Point); the United States Naval Academy; the United States
Air Force Academy; the United States Coast Guard Academy; the United
States Merchant Marine Academy; the Naval Postgraduate School; the Air
Force Institute of Technology; and the Royal Military College of Canada.
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