CHS Cybersecurity Squad Identifies and Secures Server Vulnerabilities in National “Blue Team” Competition
Cheltenham High School's Cybersecurity team competed in the National Youth Cyber Defense competition of the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program this past weekend. The National Youth Cyber Defense competition, the world's largest cybersecurity competition and is open to all schools and approved youth organizations, is an online, tournament-structured event in which student teams are scored on how well they identify and secure known vulnerabilities on a virtual network of Ubuntu, Windows, and Windows Server machines.
The CHS team, which was able to compete this year thanks to new equipment and being able to work together in person, was charged with finding vulnerabilities and patching the holes in images of three types of virtual machines: Windows, Linux, and Server. This competition is considered the gold standard for “Blue Team” experiences, meaning defensive engagements. All of the club’s other competitions are “Red Team” experiences, meaning team members look for vulnerabilities to exploit. CHS participated thanks to generous funding from Gannon University and Cheltenham School District, and received advice and mentoring from the United States Navy.
The competition intends to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to the nation's future. Other programs CyberPatriot programs include AFA CyberCamps, elementary school cyber education initiative, children’s literature series, CyberGenerations – a senior citizen cyber safety initiative, and a Tech Caregivers program designed to encourage cyber-savvy volunteers to give back to their communities.