U.S. Air Force Academy Wins Latest NSA Cyber Defense Competition held at Lockheed Martin Facility

Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS-National/Cyber Solutions team hosted the annual National Security Agency’s Cyber Defense Exercise for the 10th consecutive year in Hanover, Maryland.

The annual competition which NSA initiated in 2000 brought together students of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Their goal was to capture the flag for their team based on their skills and agility in network defense.

A team of cadets from the Air Force Academy took home the trophy after sustaining their network through 3 days of relentless attacks by the red cell. The Air Force Institute of Technology Team won the Graduate School Competition.

The contest enables network defenders to tackle the same challenges faced by cyber professionals on a daily basis: detecting intruders, eradicating malware and adapting to increasingly sophisticated and dynamic adversaries.

Lockheed Martin worked with the NSA customer to set-up a virtual private network for the competition.  Approximately 40 “red cell” adversaries drawn from the military services and the NSA played the role of hackers and bombarded the teams with malware while the blue cells played defense and tried to score the most points.

“Watching these brilliant and innovative academy students square off against veteran NSA experts is simply inspiring,” said Darrell Durst, Vice President of Cyber Solutions for Lockheed Martin.

Tony Sager, Chief Operating Officer, Information Assurance Directorate of the National Security Agency added, “The ultimate goal of the exercise is to help prepare our future military leaders by honing their skills in a real world environment where they defend their networks against the bad guys.”

This year marks the third win for the Air Force Academy. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has won six times, including 2011. The U.S. Naval Academy has won twice and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has won once.

Watch the CNN feature on the competition.