Maryland Cyber Challenge 2014 Winners Defend 1st Place Titles


Maryland Cyber Challenge 2014 Winners Defend 1st Place Titles


Maryland Cyber Challenge 2014 Winners Defend 1st Place Titles

Loyola Blakefield and UMUC Win Respective High School, College and Professional Divisions


(Reston, Va) – November 12, 2014 – Loyola Blakefield and UMUC are repeat defenders, protecting networks and their 2013 winning titles. They captured 1st place for their respective divisions at the live final competition during the 2014 4th Annual Maryland Cyber Challenge held during the CyberMaryland Conference on October 29-30 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Event updates and photos of winners were captured live at @MDCyberChall.

Loyola Blakefield (Gold)UMUC Cyber Padawan 1 and UMUC Professional Team 2 scored the highest points to retain 1st place for each division. Harford Tech (high school team) and Chiron Tech (professional team) won 2nd place. A college team did not rank in 2nd place for this year’s competition.

“The teams for each division demonstrated impressive offensive and defensive cyber skills and unique levels of perseverance and ingenuity at times to defend and protect their networks,” said Dr. Rick Forno, assistant director, UMBC Center for Cybersecurity and director, UMBC Cybersecurity Graduate Program. “The college teams defended ‘their boxes’ so well, only one team planted a flag during the ‘Capture the Flag’ exercise, which is a unique occurrence.”

UMBCLeidos and Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development hosted the annual Maryland Cyber Challenge.

“Leidos is committed to prepare and support the next generation of cyber technologists by providing the most advanced cybersecurity hands-on skill training, which is critical to help our nation address sophisticated, evolving threats,” said Sam Gordy, Leidos Group President.

Each team member of the first place winners for high school and college divisions won a $5,000 cash prize. Each team member of the second place winner for the high school division won a $2,000 cash prize. The cash award prizes were provided through the UMBC Foundation. The professional team winner received a non-monetary cash prize, including certification vouchers, and the professional second place winner received a plaque for their achievement.

This year’s event had 50 teams participate in qualifying rounds to compete for the eight spots in each of the three divisions – high school, college and professional.

The Game Challenge

The teams were provided with mock scenarios to repair a bank network from a security breach while keeping it fully functional as well as ensuring the system against future attacks. Using Leidos Cyber Network Exercise System (CyberNEXS™), a scalable training, exercise and certification system, they were challenged to “harden” computer systems against intrusions, identify vulnerabilities and apply the appropriate security patches.

High school teams had to evaluate and protect the systems, then face a live “Red Team” who tested their computer defense skills. The college and professionals teams shifted from defense to offense in a “capture the flag” exercise where they break into systems to “plant flags” and then protected those systems from other teams to maintain critical services.

“CyberNEXS simulates a real-world operational environment which gave the teams a test-bed for hands-on training of various cybersecurity skills in a safe environment,” said Susan Crowe, security infrastructure manager who oversees the CyberNEXS program at Leidos.

CyberNEXS contains a scoring system that provides scoring points to validate a team’s demonstrated skill. The teams with the highest points won the division.

The Finalists

  • High School Teams: Chesapeake High School, Harford Tech, Loyola Blakefield (Gold), Loyola Blakefield (Blue), Marshall Academy (RAID 50), Marshall Academy (DREAM!), Catonsville High School (Comets), Poolesville (PHS Falcons)
  • University Teams:Towson University (Go! Go! Pwnzilla!), UMBC CyberDawgs 1, UMBC Cyber Scholars 3, UMUC Cyber Padawan 1, UMUC Cyber Padawan 2, UMD ACES Team 3, UMD ACES Team 5, George Mason University (Green Hats)
  • Professional teams: Cyberjutsu Women, Chiron Tech, Prime Solutions, UMUC Pro 1, UMUC Pro 2, The Loco SAs, MindPoint Group, Port Pirates