Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 Cyber Quests and Cyber Camps

The need for skilled cyber security practitioners, researchers and mentors has never been more critical, as the volume and complexity of cyber attacks, vulnerabilities and online scams continue to escalate. President Obama has identified the cyber threat as one of the most serious challenges facing the nation.  Industry experts agree on the importance of recruiting and retaining individuals capable of stopping threats to our information systems and overall digital infrastructure.

The Cyber Quests online contests and subsequent Cyber Camps provide crucial skills development and enable us to tap into the tremendous talent across our nation’s schools to identify those with a passion for security and a desire to put their skills to good use in addressing our nation’s cyber security workforce challenges.

What is the April Cyber Quest Competition?
The April Cyber Quest is the second in the Quests series and feature s a fun and challenging on-line competition that tests students’ abilities to identify vulnerabilities in a virtual network and answer questions related to their findings. 
The April Cyber Quest competition serves as the qualifier for students to be invited to attend one of several Cyber Camps being offered across the country this summer.

Who Can Participate in the April Cyber Quest?
Cyber Quest is open to all U.S. individuals who who are 18 years and older. The April Quest is designed for an intermediate skill level.

How Can Participants Register for Cyber Quests?
Registration is available April 1- April 30, 2011 at  The competition will then be available to registrants from April 18, 2011 until May 1, 2011. Participants will have 24 hours from the time they begin the quiz to complete it, and may only submit answers once. Winners will be determined based on who achieves the highest score in the shortest amount of time.

What are Cyber Camps?
The Cyber Camps are week-long onsite trainings being offered at several locations across the country this summer.  The camps will feature web-delivered training sessions and exercises on topics ranging from intrusion detection to forensics. These classes will be taught by industry professionals and accompanied by workshops, labs and competitions, conducted in person by faculty members from various universities and security practitioners.

How do the Camps Promote Cyber Security Workforce Development?
In addition to providing expert training for participants to improve their skills and marketability, the Cyber Camps will also provide students the opportunity to engage with major technology companies and government agencies at onsite job fairs for scholarship, internship and employment opportunities.

How Has California Been Involved in The Competition Efforts?
The California state Office of Information Security coordinated the state’s participation in the pilot cyber camps conducted in summer 2010, with 20 individuals taking part in the weeklong camp held at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The camp attendees were selected based on their participation and performance in the Security Treasure Hunt online contest, the precursor to the 2011 Cyber Quests competition. New York and Delaware also conducted pilot camps in summer 2010.

In the fall of 2010, California (along with Maryland and Rhode Island) participated in a pilot of the Cyber Foundations contest, a series of timed quizzes for high school students to test aptitude in the three most important foundational skills of effective cyber security: networking, operating systems, and system administration.  The Cyber Foundations contest was launched nationally in early 2011, with participation from nearly 1,000 students from 135 schools in 18 states; nearly 170 students from California participated.

California will once again participate in the Cyber Camp program, with a weeklong, overnight camp being conducted July 11-15 at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  The camp will be open to students age 18 and older who successfully competed in the Cyber Quest competition.

Who Coordinates the Cyber Quests and Cyber Camps?

To learn more:
Visit Us Online:

Follow Us On Social Media:
Facebook: @USCyberChallenge
Twitter: @USCC2011

Contact Us:
Program: Renée N. McLaughlin, Executive Director;
Sponsorship: Karen S. Evans, National Director;
Media: Krista Montie, Director of Communications;

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