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National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Nears

Texas A&M University will host the Third Annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) April 18-20 at the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel.

The CCDC program has grown from five participating schools in 2005 to 56 schools in 2008 with six regional competitions taking place nationwide. The 2008 national competition features the 2007 defending champions, Texas A&M University, along with Baker College of Flint, Michigan, the Community College of Baltimore County, Mt. San Antonio College of Los Angeles County, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Louisville. The participants advanced to the National CCDC after winning regional competitions against opposing teams in the Southwest, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and West Coast Regions.

The CCDC program is sponsored in part through donations from leading businesses in the communications and information technology industries. The program is the first cyber defense competition allowing teams of full-time collegiate students from across the country to apply their information assurance and information technology education in a competitive environment. While similar to other cyber defense competitions, CCDC competitions are unique because they focus on business operations and incorporate the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. The teams will inherit an "operational" network from a fictional business complete with e-mail, websites, data files, and users.

Each team will be required to correct problems on their network, perform typical business tasks, and defend their networks from a red team that generates live, hostile activity throughout the competition. The teams will be scored on their performance in those three areas and the team with the highest score at the end of the competition will be the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Champion.

The National CCDC is being sponsored in part through donations and volunteer support from the AT&T Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, Cisco Systems, Acronis, Northrop Grumman, Accenture, the Information Systems Security Association, and Core Securityamong others.

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