Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy in have won the National Security Agency’s Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX) for the third time.
Between April 13 and 17, the CDX pits the U.S. Naval, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Military Academy and the Royal Military College of Canada against one another in a hacking contest designed by the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate. The five-day contest takes place entirely on virtual private networks at a Maryland facility. CDX is part of the NSA’s broader mission to raise awareness about cybersecurity within the military.
Cadets and midshipmen are tasked with defending their own networks, which they designed during the academic year at their respective schools, against attacks perpetrated by NSA security professionals. Ultimately, the goal of the competition is to ensure network stability and operability while detecting, responding to and recovering from a series of compromises.
“CDX is a competition singular in its scope, its execution, and in training opportunities,” said Alex Gates, an IAD senior leader. “It provides to those who are constructing, managing, and defending networks the skills and ability to develop more knowledge in the cyber defense arena. Not only do the students benefit by being on the defensive side, but those who are participating from NSA on the offensive side are also able to share information that can help us, as a nation, better protect our networks.