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Rochester Institute of Technology Wins Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

In an annual competition designed to judge how well students operate and manage a network infrastructure and prevent cyber attacks, New York's Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) came out on top. Placing second and third, respectively, was Dakota State University of Madison, SD and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN.

Organized by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), 10 regional student teams from around the country gathered in San Antonio, TX over the weekend to compete at the eighth annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

During the three-day competition, the mission for each eight-person team was to maintain the network infrastructure and keep up with user demands of a fictional correctional institution while thwarting simulated cyber attacks.

Entering the competition with limited information about the facility's network, level of security, and software, the teams were also challenged by several stressful situations designed to assess their ability to cope under pressure. Throughout the contest, a live "orange" team of fictional employees, business clients, and customers created an array of obstacles to test the teams' ability to maintain service.

To further complicate the process and add additional stress, another "red" team actively attempted to break in and disrupt the teams' network operations. Teams earned points for successfully completing business tasks and maintaining services, but lost points when service agreements were violated, when they used recovery usage services, or when the red team successfully infiltrated their network. The RIT team beat the other teams and took home the Alamo Cup by accumulating the most points at the end of the competition.

Other regional 2013 CCDC winners included:

For more information about the cyber defense competition, visit For information about UTSA, visit

About the Author

Sharleen Nelson is a freelance journalist based in Springfield, Oregon. She can be reached at [email protected].

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