CyberPatriot Displays Cyber Ninja Skills in First Two Rounds of Competition.



Cyberpatriot is being represented by 7 teams from Pine Creek, all of whom spent their day off identifying and repairing security flaws in three different operating systems, including Windows 10. The top team took 13th place, out of 3311.

Cyberpatriot is the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Education Program, designed to inspire K-12 students to pursue careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines that are critical to our nation’s future.

“During round one there were 3,325 teams worldwide competing, which was 85% high schoolers. That includes ROTC, some schools in Canada, and Australia,” said Cyberpatriot adviser Steve Errickson.

The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition hosted by Cyberpatriot challenges teams of high school and middle school students to identify and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities in virtual operating systems. Teams are scored based on how secure they make the system using a proprietary competition system. There are many students who are motivated to help keep computer companies’ information safe, and secure computer vulnerabilities.

“Cyberpatriot is a group where we come together, and we compete to secure computer vulnerabilities, basically we’re making the internet world a safer place, trying to make sure companies don’t get hacked or people’s personal information doesn’t get released. What inspires me, is that we’re having fun but also doing something that’s good and that’s going to help us in our future careers,” said senior Michael Ellis.

Students study cybersecurity by applying concepts from data security, system administration, network administration, and programming. Students develop foundational cybersecurity skills through critical thinking, investigation of real-world issues, and practical exercises, and in addition, students practice and adhere to computer security ethics.

Sophomore Elliot Bossetti, who is part of the Cyberzilla team said, “I had a computer at home that didn’t work well, and it probably didn’t have a lot of good security, so I wanted to learn about that. Also, I just find it interesting, I want to learn how to make computers secure.”

The second round of competition was held on Friday, November 12. The eight Pine Creek teams placed in the top 54 percent of competitors worldwide. The highest-scoring team, One Phish, placed in the top 3 percent.