The UW team takes home first place at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

Next time your business is under a cyber attack, you may want to pick up the phone and call Alexei Czeskis. Czeskis was the team captain and one of eight University of Washington students who took home the top prize in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, held this past weekend in San Antonio, Texas.

The competition is designed to test the skills of network engineers to fend off a cyber attack. During the event “cyber security skills are pushed to the limit,” according to a press release describing the competition.

Sounds intense.  But cyber security certainly isn’t a low stress job. (After all, the only time you really get attention is when something goes wrong).

This year’s competition featured team’s from 109 schools, with nine regional winners going to the national finals in San Antonio.

“Each team was required to correct problems on their network, perform typical business tasks, and defend their networks from a red team that generated live, hostile activity throughout the competition,” according to a press release announcing the winners.

UW faculty member Barbara Endicott-Popovsky organized the regional competitions in which the team participated. Team members included Baron Oldenburg, Ian Finder, Karl Koscher, Mark Jordan, Conrad Meyer, Mary Pimenova and Cullen Walsh. (Editor’s note: The post has been updated to better clarify the role of Endicott-Popovsky).

I can see Seattle area tech companies salivating over the possibilities of hiring these kids.

[Via The Seattle Times]

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